Michele Scarponi honoured with special team prize at race where he took his final victory
Prize money for Tour of the Alps team prize will go to local voluntary organisations
The race where Michele Scarponi took his final victory will pay homage to the late Italian rider with a special team prize to be awarded at the 2018 edition.
The route of the 2018 Tour of the Alps was announced on Tuesday, with race organisers also revealing the new Team Up prize, established in memory of Scarponi who won the opening stage of the 2017 race just days before being killed in a collision with a truck on a training ride.
With Scarponi’s siblings Silvia and Marco helping with the announcement, the prize will reward the team showing “the best collective effort” on each day of the five-stage race. There will be no prize money awarded to the teams, with riders instead invited onto the podium before the start of the following stage to present a donation from the race organisers to a local voluntary organisation.
Organisers said that the new team prize was an attempt to preserve the “emotional link” between the Tour of the Alps and Scarponi, and that the prize would be a celebration of “the selflessness, the generosity, the solidarity, and the essence of cycling at its best, certainly embodied by the personality of Michele Scarponi.”
As a professional rider, Scarponi had a long association with the Tour of the Alps (or, as it was previously known, the Giro del Trentino), often using it as preparation ahead of the Giro d’Italia in May.
The Italian rider won the race in 2011, the year in which he would also win the Giro d’Italia after the disqualification of Alberto Contador, and finished in the top ten overall on four other occasions.
His most recent result was fourth in the 2017 edition, having won the opening stage to wear the leader’s fuchsia pink jersey on the second day. However tragedy would strike just a day after the end of the race, when Scarponi was killed in a collision with a truck while out on a training ride close to his home in Filottrano.