Michele Scarponi Obituary

Michele Scarponi, a jester and the accidental winner of the 2011 Giro d’Italia, died on Saturday 22 April aged 37 following a collision with a truck on the outskirts of his home town of Filottrano.

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Sunday Shorts

thomas lovkvist iam

Thomas Lövkvist wins – Faron agony – “Professor” Péraud’s first win – No TV – Ruta Del Sol fundraiser flop – Wounded Lion King – Scarponi still missing – Oman test

Thomas Lövkvist has won the Tour Méditerranéen on the last stage. Overnight race leader Maxime Montfort of Radioshack lost out as the bunch split on the way to the finish line in Grasse, a town famous for its perfumes and spread on the flanks of hill. It’ll hurt Monfort more as he lives in the area and knows the roads well. Jurgen Roelandts won the stage and he too is a prospect, more than a just wagon in the Greipel sprint train.

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Are They Stupid?

Several riders are being sucked into a sporting and judicial vortex after police investigations claim links them the infamous Doctor Ferrari. In his defence Filippo Pozzato claimed he did work with Ferrari from 2005 to 2009 but it was an innocent deal where he just paid for training plans. La Repubblica says he paid €40,000-€50,000 a year for the service.

If possible, try to stop the laughs and give Pozzato the benefit of the doubt. Let’s actually imagine he and others have been paying €50,000 for training plans because this still involves big risks.

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The Spin: Giro Stage 8

Italy has mountains running down its spine from north to south so when the weekend comes and the organisers want to pump the viewing figures they just need to head inland to find ski stations, long climbs and steep finishes.

Today is no exception with the finish in the small ski station of Laceno just 4.4km after the top of the Colle Molella, a climb with double-digit percentage gradients.

In addition to the preview there’s also a look back at the lessons from yesterday’s first summit finish.

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The Giro Contenders

It’s hard to pick a clear favourite for the Giro d’Italia. There’s no obvious star name. Instead there are several contenders on a similar level and then a collection of outsiders, mainly mountain specialists who could also shine. To make forecasting even harder many of those taking part have not had the best run of results recently which makes it tougher to judge their form.

But if these reasons make predicting the outcome even harder, all the better. The uncertainty should make for a more open race where riders could be battling to win seconds, as opposed to Alberto Contador’s victory lap of Italy in 2011.

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Scarponi: refund time?

Just a word on Michele Scarponi. He was rumbled for involvement in Operation Puerto and suspended for two years. I have some sympathy for him as unlike many others, he confessed and took a ban. All whilst he was on a team programme: he was busted and banned yet few team mates got the same … Read more