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Pantani in acrimonious split with director

Mercatone Uno has announced that team manager Giuseppe Martinelli will be sidelined for the Vuelta a España following a dispute with the squad’s troubled superstar Marco Pantani. A statement released by the team on Tuesday announced that assistant director Alessandro Giannelli would fill Martinelli’s role at the Vuelta. "Taking into account the publicly shown incompatibility between team manager Giuseppe Martinelli and Marco Pantani, the board of G.S. Mercatone Uno-Stream TV, with the agreement of the respective parties and in full respect of the professionalism of both parties, has

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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2001

Mercatone Uno has announced that team manager Giuseppe Martinelli will be sidelined for the Vuelta a España following a dispute with the squad’s troubled superstar Marco Pantani. A statement released by the team on Tuesday announced that assistant director Alessandro Giannelli would fill Martinelli’s role at the Vuelta.

“Taking into account the publicly shown incompatibility between team manager Giuseppe Martinelli and Marco Pantani, the board of G.S. Mercatone Uno-Stream TV, with the agreement of the respective parties and in full respect of the professionalism of both parties, has decided to give Alessandro Giannelli … the role of director of sport for the Vuelta a España,” the statement read. “This is to give Pantani the peace of mind he needs to get good results.”

Pantani, who won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 1998, has had a dismal season blighted with bad form and with ongoing legal problems.

Martinelli, who worked with Pantani during his golden year in 1998, will remain involved with the team until the end of the 2001 season, the statement said.

“As all marriages that hit the rocks eventually end so has our professional relationship,” said Martinelli. “With Marco Pantani I have lived five emotional years… culminating in the 1998 Giro-Tour double that caused such a sensation not only in Italy but the world.

“… Then after June 1999 there have been a series of complications and problems that have progressively weakened our relationship although I have nothing to reproach myself for in terms of commitment.”

Martinelli is said to be in line for a new position with Italy’s Saeco Macchina Per Caffe team.

Copyright AFP2001