Michele Scarponi death investigation closed after driver dies

Italian police close the investigation into Michele Scarponi's death after the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision dies of cancer

Michele Scarponi
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

The investigation into the death of 2011 Giro d'Italia winner Michele Scarponi was closed abruptly on Sunday after the death of the principle suspect.

Italian police had no choice but to end its work unconcluded when Giuseppe Giacconi, the driver who hit Scarponi on April 22 2017, died of a cancerous tumour on Sunday.

Scarponi, 37, died shortly after leaving his home at 8am for an early morning training ride. He was due to lead the Astana team in the Giro d'Italia after winning a stage and placing fourth behind winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) in the Tour of the Alps.

He died instantly just a few kilometres from his home in Filottrano when the Fiat Iveco truck driven by Giacconi turned into the corner that Scarponi was riding.

>>> Tirreno-Adriatico 2018 route pays tribute to Michele Scarponi

Giacconi reportedly told police that the sun had blinded him and he never saw Scarponi. During the negligent vehicular homicide investigation, however, he was said to admit to investigators that he was watching a video on his smartphone.

Team Astana decided to race ahead with eight instead of nine riders in the Giro d'Italia. In the Tour de France, Fabio Aru (now with UAE Team Emirates) dedicated his stage win and yellow jersey to Scarponi.

With the investigation closed, the criminal case will never begin. The small town of Filottran – 9745 inhabitants just inland from Ancona on the east coast – must continue without justice.

Scarponi left behind his wife Anna and four-year-old twins Giacomo and Tommaso.

>>> Michele Scarponi honoured with special team prize at race where he took his final victory

Giacconi, who had been suffering from a tumour according to Corriere della Sera, returned home from the hospital recently because he was not responding to treatment.

The 58-year-old mason died on Sunday at his home, leaving behind wife Daniela and daughter Cristina. The town is holding services on Tuesday at 2.30pm local time at the Pieve church, a few metres a way from Scarponi's grave.

The Tour of the Alps will dedicate a stage to Scarponi this April 20 in Innsbruck, Austria. RCS Sport is planning similar dedications at the Tirreno-Adriatico in March and at the Giro d'Italia in May.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.