Arrests made following theft of Marco Pantani's maillot jaune, but jersey remains missing

Italian police say men looking after Madonna del Ghisallo exhibition stole jersey to order

by Simon_MacMichael   January 14, 2011  

Marco Pantini pic: Hein Ciere

Italian investigators have arrested two brothers in connection with the theft last November of a yellow jersey worn in the Tour de France by the ill-starred rider Marco Pantani on his way to winning the 1998 edition of the race.

As reported on at the time, the jersey was stolen from a stand at the EICMA motorcycle and cycling show in Milan from a temporary exhibition of bicycles and other memorabilia from the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel and cycling museum near Lake Como, which had been given the jersey by Pantani’s family in 2006.

The authorities now appear to be treating the theft as an inside job and believe that the jersey was stolen by the two men tasked with staffing the stand, whose names were given only as Marco and Oscar B, respectively aged 32 and 40.

The pair, who according to today’s print edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport act as “voluntary guides” at the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel and museum, reported the theft, but police inspector Carmine Gallo has reportedly rejected their explanation of events and believes that the jersey, which has not yet been recovered, was the subject of a “theft to order.”