Sun, Apr 23, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Michele Scarponi killed after collision with van in training

Reuters, PARIS

Italian Michele Scarponi smiles at the start line on the 14th stage of the 2014 Giro d’Italia in Aglie on May 24.

Photo: AP

Michele Scarponi, the 2011 Giro d’Italia champion, has been killed in a road accident after being hit by a van while training close to his home in Filottrano, Italy, his Astana team said yesterday.

Scarponi, 37, left home early yesterday morning for a training ride where the accident occurred at a crossroads.

“This is a tragedy too big to be written,” Astana said in a statement. “We left a great champion and a special guy, always smiling in every situation, he was ... a landmark for everyone in the Astana Pro Team.”

Scarponi, who completed the Tour of the Alps on Friday, winning a stage and finishing fourth overall, is survived by his wife and two children.

Scarponi, who started his professional career in 2002, got his best results in Italian races, winning three stages on the Giro before being handed the 2011 title after Alberto Contador was stripped of his victory because of a retroactive doping ban.

He also had good results in the one-day races, finishing fourth on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in 2003.

He won the Tirreno-Adriatico in 2009 and the Tour of Catalonia in 2011.

“We will miss this guy in the peleton [sic], always with a smile,” Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet wrote on Twitter.

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