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Eros Poli: Ventoux’s most unlikely hero

by CYCLING WEEKLY, June 16, 2016 At 6ft 4in, Eros Poli would typically be found in the laughing group on any Tour de France climb. But in 1994, having gone out on a lone break on the flats before Mont Ventoux, the Italian Mercatone Uno rider hit the foot of the climb with a 25-minute solo lead. It proved enough for him to survive at the head of the race and he came down the other side for a famous solo victory in the nearby town of Carpentras. Here, he recalls the day to Cycling Weekly.
“In 1994, there were numerous fans, and many Italians because Marco Pantani was going so well. The bad memory I take away is that I arrived at the base after riding around 100km in time trial mode to gain time. I thought if I was going to win the stage I’d need at least 25 minutes’ advantage on the group. I’d lose about a minute every kilometre. If I had three minutes [at the top], that’d be enough to last the descent and 20 remaining kilometres on the flat. The worst bit was when for the first time in…