Scarponi death investigation ends as driver of van dies - News Shorts

The criminal investigation into the driver who caused the death of Italian Michele Scarponi has been closed after the man died of cancer.

Giuseppe Giaconni, the driver of the van who hit and killed Scarponi last year, has died at the age of 58, according to

On April 22, 2017, Scarponi left his home for a short ride. He had just returned home to Filottrano in the central Le Marche region of Italy after racing at the Tour of the Alps. While on his training ride, he was hit by a van at a crossroads after the driver failed to see him.

He left behind his wife Anna and young twin sons, Giacomo and Tommaso.

Giaconni had been facing criminal charges in connection with the crash. He turned into the path of Scarponi, and later claimed that he had been temporarily blinded by the sun's glare. However, it later emerged that he had been distracted by his smartphone.

The funeral for Giaconni is planned for Wednesday afternoon. He leaves behind a wife, Daniela and a daughter, Cristina.

Eenkhoorn to start season after team suspension ends

Pascal Eenkhoorn has served his two-month team-imposed suspension and will start in the Ruta del Sol on Wednesday for LottoNL-Jumbo.

The first-year pro, who just turned 21, and Antwan Tolhoek were suspended after they were found to have taken sleep medication that was not approved by the team. They, along with veteran Juan Jose Lobato, were sent home from the team training camp in December after the incident. Lobato was subsequently released by the team.

"Pascal's suspension will end on February 13th. He will ride three stages in Spain, then fly home to start in Abu Dhabi," the team's director Merijn Zeeman said in a press release.

LottoNL-Jumbo will also have Steven Kruijswijk, Enrico Battaglin, Koen Bouwman, Floris De Tier, Stef Clement and Maarten Wynants at the Ruta del Sol.

Baloise Belgium Tour announces stages

The Baloise Belgium Tour is trying out a new formula for the 88th running of the race from May 23-27. In an attempt to increase the action, organisers have planned fewer overall kilometres while keeping its traditional stage start and finish towns.

"The length of the stages has been deliberately shortened," said Nick Van der Bosh on the race website. "Shorter stages guarantee a more attractive course and we also take care of a few local laps at the start and finish as much as possible to make it more attractive for the supporters on the roadside."

The first stage runs 179km with start and finish in Buggenhout, and will be one for the sprinters. Stage 2 is 162km from Lochristi to Knokke-Heist, with the finish on the Wandelaar. Racers will take on a10.6km individual time trial on stage 3.

Things get tricky on the fourth and Queen stage: the 151.5km route with a start and finish in Wanaze will include the Muur van Hoei, Côte d'Ereffe and the Côte Chemin du Comte. The race ends with a 158km stage 5 from Landen to Tongeren.

Deutschland Tour stage cities set for 2018

The Deutschland Tour will making its return to the racing scene after a 10-year absence. It will start in Koblenz on August 23 and end in Stuttgart on August 27. It is now being organized by the ASO, which has signed an agreement with the German Cycling Federation to put the race on for at least ten years.

The race will start at the Deutsche Eck, the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. The peloton will first take on a neutralized circuit through the Koblenz Old Town before the official start. Further stages will feature starts and/or finishes in Merzig and Trier, before ending in Stuttgart.

The entire course will be announced on March 2.

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