Thousands of people from across Italy and further afield gathered in Filottrano for the funeral of Michele Scarponi, who died on Saturday following a collision with a truck in training.
More than 5,000 people attended the service in the football stadium of the small town in eastern Italy, with applause greeting Scarponi’s coffin as it was carried into the centre of the stadium.
Among the crowd were numerous colleagues from the world of cycling including Astana general manager Alexander Vinokourov, Italian Cycling Federation president Renato Di Rocco, and Bahrain-Merida rider Enrico Gasparotto, who had been excused from riding the Tour de Romandie to attend the funeral, as well as figures from wider Italian sport, such as football manager Roberto Mancini, a family friend and occasional riding companion of Scarponi.
The event not only drew crowds in the stadium, but was also streamed live online by Gazzetta dello Sport.
The funeral mass was led by Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, who described Scarponi as “an example of sacrifice, a rider who wasn’t just a leader, but also a companion and representing the essence of teamwork.”
According to local newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the mayor of Filottrano is also considering renaming the main square of the town in Scarponi’s honour, or at least arranging for some sort of memorial to be constructed.