“We are shocked. A few hours ago Michele Scarponi was here with us, a great protagonist and a stage winner at the Tour of the Alps ending in Trento. He was back home on Friday night, and he barely had the time to rejoin his wife and kids before his tragic fate brought him away. It’s a huge void and a huge pain for the whole cycling family. He was a champion on the road, and of sympathy too. At the starts, he was always willing and available for autographs, chatting, always smiling. We feel honored to have given him his final victory. But this also makes us feel even more involved in the grief of his beloveds.” These were GS Alto Garda President Giacomo Santini’s words on the tragical death of Michele Scarponi, who was fatally hit by a van during his training on bike.
“Michele has enjoyed his first victory in some years at the Tour of the Alps on Monday, and this news leaves us breathless – added Tour of the Alps General Manager Maurizio Evangelista – as we had just greeted him a few hours ago. We don’t have enough words to express to his family the huge pain we are suffering, just like the whole cycling family. Michele Scarponi was a great professional, deeply in love with his job, and above all an extremely likable person, always kind, easygoing and available for everybody. His example should remain fixed in the mind of everybody who practices this sport.”
Michele Scarponi was born in Jesi on September 25th, 1979. The best year in his career was 2011, when he won the Giro del Trentino and the Giro d’Italia, the latter following Alberto Contador’s disqualification. At the GS Alto Garda race he was also second overall in 2007, fourth in 2010 and in 2017, when he also managed to take his sole stage win on the opening day, Kufstein-Innsbruck, when he brought a 3-year drought and wore the leader’s jersey. In the years, he has also become very close to Lina and Nerino Ioppi, long-time organizers for GS Alto Garda.
On Friday night he has reached his home in the Marche region. Today at 8, he was already on his bike: his huge professionalism and love for cycling deserved a very different fate.