A year after Michele Scarponi's tragic death during an early morning training ride, his family, friends and 2000 cyclists remembered the former Italian rider on Sunday morning with a special sportif ride on the same country roads around Filottrano in the Marche region, where Scarponi trained and ultimately lost his life after being hit by a vehicle.
Scarponi had been working on plans to create his own sportif event for when he retired. The event is a now a way of remembering him and helping to promote road safety, with his brother Marco and sister Silvia determined to create a memorial foundation in his name that will try to reduce the number of deaths of cyclists and pedestrians on Italian roads.
Scarponi's parents Flavia and Giacomo have found strength in the support and commemoration of the Astana team, the Italian peloton and the wider cycling community. On Friday they travelled to Innsbruck in Austria, for the final stage of the Tour of the Alps to attend a memorial mass near where Scarponi won the opening stage of last year's race. Scarponi was also remembered before Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Italian RAI television showed an intimate and moving portrait of Scarponi produced by Italian journalist Alessandra di Stefano.
Marco Scarponi held back the emotions of losing his brother during the memorial programme to make a call for improved road safety.
"Everything has changed since that fateful April 22 of last year. Yet in truth nothing has changed, it's only changed for us, his family. People are still dying on the roads, cyclists are still dying and pedestrians are still dying. So I ask: What did my brother's death change? Nothing yet. What are we doing What are they doing? Nothing yet," Marco Scarponi said.
"I don't think we can accept that people die out on the roads in such violent ways. We can't accept it anymore. We can't accept that there isn't an institution or a state-run association that helps the children and families left behind. Without my uncle being at the scene of Michele's accident by chance, we would have found out via Facebook.
"Our roads aren't safe, they're unsafe. This isn't a civil country if it allows an average of 15 people to be killed every day in road accidents. We don't need to be cycling champion's but champion of civil behaviour out on the roads."
The Astana team published this video on its social media channels.
A year passed, but it's still hard for us to believe Michele isn't with us anymore. Today, we want to share with all of you our memories about Michele, because there are many and they are all beautiful! Full video watch out here: Fb - https://t.co/GXaKbRLawg pic.twitter.com/FHJcuirUMK
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