Fabio Fazio, 22, died from a suspected heart attack on Tuesday while competing in Italian one-day race, the GP Città di Vinci. Fazio was nearly 100 kilometres into the Under-23 category race near Florence when he collapsed.
Fazio lost contact with a group of riders on a light climb, with temperatures near 32°C. He radioed back to his Neri Sottoli team car, "I don't feel well," according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He fell off his bike shortly after.
Medics worked to revive Fazio for 50 minutes at the scene before he was transported by ambulance to San Giuseppe hospital in Empoli, 10 kilometres from Vinci. Fazio's death was declared at 17:20.
The organiser of the GP Vinci annulled the race and the riders stopped in Vinci, without passing the finish line.
"Three years ago he was stopped [racing] for seven months because a control showed [heart] arrhythmias or something similar," said Luca Scinto. Scinto is a director of professional team ISD-Neri, the parent team of Neri Sottoli.
Fazio started racing again at the beginning of the season and, following health controls, Scinto asked him to join Neri Sottoli.
Doctors transported Fazio's body to Careggi's hospital on Wednesday for an autopsy. A report of the exact cause of death is expected on Thursday or Friday.
Fazio was born in Sicily and lived with a host family in Vignola (Modena). His funeral will be held later this week.