The investigation into Michele Scarponi’s sudden death on a training ride has ended after news broke that the driver involved in the collision has died.
Giuseppe Giacconi had been suffering from a cancerous tumour before passing away at his home, forcing Italian police to close their investigation according to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport.
Scarponi died on 22 April 2017 after being hit by a van on his training ride. The Astana rider had left his home in Filottrano at 8am as he prepared to lead his team at that year’s Giro d’Italia.
In our memory forever… Big champion and great friend… Michele Scarponi, you are in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/6P3QsStiXX
— Astana Pro Team (@AstanaTeam) April 22, 2017
After a few kilometres, the 37-year-old was struck by Giacconi’s Fiat Iveco truck, killing Scarponi instantly.
Police launched an investigation into negligent vehicular homicide as Giacconi had told police that he was blinded by the sun as he was driving which meant he was unable see Scarponi before hitting him. However, it was later revealed that Giacconi reportedly admitted to watching a video on his smartphone during the collision.
A legendary figure among the peloton, the former Giro d’Italia winner’s death was a big blow to riders and fans alike.
Risveglio muscolare….🥋🗡👍😅🔝💪 pic.twitter.com/5HCH4aRGGV
— Michele Scarponi (@MicheleScarponi) April 1, 2017
Originally in the line up as the team’s overall contender, Team Astana decided to race the 2017 Giro d’Italia with eight riders instead of the available nine, paying respect to their fallen rider.
In a race where he finished fourth last year, the Tour of the Alps are set to dedicate a stage to the deceased rider on stage five as the peloton heads into Innsbruck, Austria. Other races will also be making gestures throughout the year.
Scarponi leaves behind his wife Anna and four-year-old twins Giacomo and Tommaso.
Frankieeee!!!!!! 🦆🦅🐥🐔🐣🙉🙈🐵 pic.twitter.com/PGMglivCgH
— Michele Scarponi (@MicheleScarponi) December 21, 2016
The former Grand Tour winner was known for his great skill on the bike as well as his training ride partner Frankie, a parrot who would frequently fly next to him as he rode along.
As for Giacconi, the 58-year-old left behind wife Daniela and daughter Cristina. A service is due to be held at the Pieve church, a few metres a way from Scarponi’s grave, on Tuesday at 2.30pm local time.