The first race broadcast for this year will begin this weekend when the Tour of Qatar is aired. From here on out there will start to be a steady stream of cycling coverage, a big difference from the situation in the U.S. It's great to be able to see all the one day classics, the 3 major tours, world championships, and many of the races in Italy. Even the more important granfondos are broadcast on TV.
The "big event" movie wise is the Marco Pantani story which the national network, RAI, is airing on February 5th. Rolando Ravello will play Pantani, who died of a cocaine overdose in 2004. Ravello has trained for months on the bike to prepare for the role. The producer of the film, Claudio Bonivento, said that he wanted to show the talent and the weaknesses of the climbing specialist.
Photos: top: the real Marco Pantani; bottom: Rolando Ravello on the set