Cycling: Italy's Scarponi killed in training crash
Veteran Italian Michele Scarponi was killed on Saturday after colliding with a van while out training on his bike, his Astana team said, plunging the cycling world into mourning. "This is a tragedy too big to be written," Astana said in a statement, paying tribute to the 37-year-old, who won the Giro d'Italia in 2011. "Ciao Michele," Astana wrote on Twitter.
The fatal crash happened on a crossroad near his home in central Italy and he leaves behind a wife and two children, Astana said. Citing police sources, the Italian daily Il Resto del Carlino said that the driver of the vehicle "did not see" Scarponi. The cycling star, whose professional career began in 2002, was in the twilight of his career but proved his enduring quality on Monday when he took his first victory in four years in the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps. He outsprinted Briton Geraint Thomas and Thibaut Pinot of France to claim the early lead of the race, a key warm-up event ahead of next month's Giro d'Italia, the first of the year's Grand Tours.