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Bike that Peter Sagan gave to Pope Francis to be auctioned for charity

Peter Sagan with Ermanno Leonardi of Specialized Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The custom Specialized bicycle that former world champion Peter Sagan presented to Pope Francis in 2018 is due to be auctioned for charity to benefit the areas of Italy hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The auction, which starts June 8 with the bike as the first item offered, is part of the Pope's "We Run Together" campaign and will also include a team jersey, a captain's armband by former Roma forward Francesco Totti, a swimsuit and cap from Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini and more.

Sagan met Pope Francis on January 2018 and presented him with the signed world champion's jersey and the bike painted in the colours of the Vatican flag - yellow and white.

The funds raised by the auction of the items will go to the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo and Fondazione Poliambulanza in Brescia.

The auctions will take place on the site Charitystars.com starting Monday for two months. There will be a new item every week and each auction will last 10 days.