Riders, journalists, fans and everyone connected with the world of cycling has been left in shock by the sudden death of for Giro d’Italia winner, Michele Scarponi.
The Italian, aged 37, was killed during a training ride near his home in Filottrano on Saturday morning, just five days after winning a stage at the Tour of the Alps.
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He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Former teammates, fellow riders and many of those who knew Scarponi have paid tribute to “one of the nicest guys you could ever meet” and a rider who was “always with a smile”.
Scarponi was due to lead his Astana team at this year’s Giro d’Italia in the wake of Fabio Aru’s knee injury. He won the race overall in 2011 after the disqualification of Alberto Contador, as well as finishing fourth overall three times and taking three stage wins. Scarponi also won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya during his career, as well as helping Vincenzo Nibali to Tour de France victory in 2014.
Here are just a few of the many tributes paid to the late rider on Saturday after the announcement of his death.
“Endless tragedy. There are no words. Rest in peace my friend.”
“Without words. He leaves a great person and a great cyclist. RIP Michele Scarponi.”
“I have no words my friend.”