Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Michele Bartoli

There was a time during the late 90s early 2000 when PROs racing the classics were at the pinnacle of BKW style. Leading this charge was Italian superstar Michele Bartoli.

Bartoli has been coined the most complete classics rider of modern times. Winning many of the finest races, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège (twice), Ronde van Vlaanderen, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, Giro di Lombardia, Tirreno-Adriatico, the 1997 UCI World Cup, Het Volk, and stages in the Giro. Bartoli's style is almost as over-the-top as VDB's. Bartoli rocked the Brikos like mad, always opting for the craziest, biggest, and brightest. Back in the Mapei days, Bartoli was king, so much so that rising PRO El Grillo was his leadout man. Bartoli's style quieted following his days at Mapei; he cruised into retirement in 2004 following a run with Fassa-Bartolo and finishing out his tenure with ex-doper and Tour cheater Riis at CSC.


Anonymous said...

I loved Bartoli - in fact, I named a cat after the guy...

PS - Great blog!

Radio Freddy said...

Thanks for the comments and the kind words. I hope you continue to visit. RF

Anonymous said...

Bartoli was a king among cyclists....if you check out the movie Overcoming, you can see his final days with CSC....in fact Riis consoles a deeply depressed Bartoli in the film about his impending retirement.

Understandably Bartoli is lamenting the inevitability of his career's end in the film. It is tough to watch such a great champion- once so joyous and animated on the bike- looking so sad as he nears his last days as a Pro; but it shows how encompassing cycling was for the guy!

Thx for your cool blog!


Radio Freddy said...

I purchased Overcoming yesterday following your comment. The closure of Bartoli's career is indeed sad, as it has been with many other top PROs; in some respects, I feel Riis may have been the best person to provide guidance to Bartoli. Thanks for taking time to read my Blog.