The International Cycling Union on Saturday mourned the death of veteran Italian racer Michele Scarponi after the Astana team member was killed in a traffic accident while training for the Giro d’Italia near his home in Filottrano. The Kazakh team confirmed the news in a statement, saying that Scarponi had been hit by a truck.
"He always had a smile on his face"
“Michele died this morning while he was training. It is a tragedy too big for words,” Astana said. “We have been left without a great champion and a special person, who always had a smile on his face. He was someone that everybody at Astana Pro Team looked up to.”
Scarponi came fourth in this week’s Tour of the Alps and won the opening stage. The 37-year-old was due to take on the leadership of Astana in the upcoming Giro, which he won in 2011, after the retirement of Fabio Aru due to a knee problem. Scarponi also triumphed at the Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino in 2011 and won the Tirreno-Adriatico in 2009. He is survived by his wife and two children.