Giro d'Italia organisers will pay homage to Michele Scarponi by dedicating the Passo del Mortirolo to the Italian. The first rider to the top of the Mortirolo will be given double points for the king of the mountains competition.
There will be several other dedications to Scarponi, who died two weeks ago. His Astana teammates will be invited onto the stage first at Thursday's team presentation, while a moment's silence will be held ahead of the opening stage this Friday before the team lead out the rest of the peloton. Scarponi will also be honoured on the final podium in Milan.
"The Giro d'Italia can't forget a great champion, a big friend and a great man who was set to take part in the Corsa Rosa for the twelfth time this year. Therefore, a tribute will be paid to him with one of the iconic climbs of this year's race dedicated to him: the Mortirolo," a press release from the organisation read.
"This climb is well known all over the world and universally respected by cyclists. In 2010, it was the springboard to Michele's last stage victory at the Giro d'Italia, at Aprica, ahead of Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali."
The Mortirolo will feature on stage 16 of this year's Giro d'Italia, before the peloton tackle a loop that brings them over the Stelvio twice. It made its Giro d'Italia debut in 1990 and has been ridden 11 times since then. In 2010, Ivan Basso attacked on the Mortirolo, a move that would put him into pink, with teammate Vincenzo Nibali, but Scarponi was hot on their tail. Scarponi would easily beat the pair to take his last of three Giro d'Italia stage wins. He would finish just short of the overall podium.
Scarponi, who won the 2011 Giro d'Italia after Alberto Contador was disqualified, was killed when he was struck by a vehicle during a training ride. He was due to lead Astana at this year's race following a knee injury suffered by Fabio Aru. The Kazakh team will now ride with just eight riders instead of nine, after choosing not to replace the Italian in the line-up.
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