Italian under-23 rider dies after hitting his head in sprint finish crash

The rider was rushed to hospital but never recovered from his injury

An Italian under-23 rider has died after hitting his head on a pillar at high-speed during a sprint finish.

Giovanni Iannelli fell 100 metres from the finish of the Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy, hitting his head with enough force to break his helmet, according to Italian media.

The 22-year-old, who rode for Hato Green Tea Beer cycling team, was airlifted to hospital in Alessandria after the crash on Saturday (October 5), according to Giornaledi Alessandria, where he never regained consciousness from a coma.

Iannelli, from nearby Prato, died from his injuries on Monday (October 7).

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He is known in the Tuscan cycling world through his father, Carlo Iannelli, the vice-president of the regional committee of the Italian cycling federation.

According to reports Iannelli hit his head against a fence pillar in the crash, which sent him into cardiac arrest.

He was resuscitated on the spot by emergency crews before he was rushed to hospital, where he underwent surgery on Sunday night, but died the following day.

Iannelli spend his 2019 season racing a number of Italian under-23 races, including the Baby Giro, where he finished 126th overall, and the U23 national championships where he finished 57th.

This season, he raced the 2.2 category Tour of Albania, finishing fifth on the opening stage and 39th overall.

Iannelli’s death is the latest tragedy to hit the cycling community, after the passing of Belgian Bjorg Lambrecht earlier this year.

The 22-year-old Lotto-Soudal crashed during stage three of the Tour of Poland, hitting a culvert and suffering a lacerated liver.

He was rushed to hospital but died from his injuries.

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This week a 19-year-old rider for the Sunweb development team suffered serious injuries after colliding with a car that came onto the course of the Piccolo Lombardia.

Edo Maas was on the descent of the Madonna del Ghisallo when he was involved in a crash with the vehicle, immediately being transported to a hospital in Milan with what his team describe as “severe injuries”.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.