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Scarponi driver distracted by phone, Valverde wants worlds: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

October 10, 2017

Report: driver who killed Scarponi was watching video on his phone; Recovering Valverde aiming to win 2018 world championships, wants to miss Tour; De Plus diagnosed with fracture after ravine fall but will return to training next month; Degenkolb recovering well after hospitalization, will resume training soon; Vuelta stage winner Armée extends with Lotto-Soudal; Colombians Betancur and Anacona commit to Movistar; Wiggle High5 re-signs Fahlin and Leth; National champion Allen to remain with Orica-Scott, targeting future Classics; Video: Cycling – Best Of 2017; Video: The Costa Brava Coast & Sant Grau – Cycling Inspiration & Education

Report: driver who killed Scarponi was watching video on his phone

by Shane Stokes

Michele Scarponi (l) and his Astana teammate and friend Vincenzo Nibali. Photo by Kristof Ramon.

Shortly after Michele Scarponi was hit by a van and killed while training last April, his father Giacomo was quoted as saying that despite his personal devastation, that he also had the driver in his thoughts. “We know each other well,” he said of the 57-year-old local who was behind the wheel. “I’ve lost a son, but I’m thinking of him too.”

Almost six months later, another element has been reported in the case which, if verified, adds an even more tragic thread to the story. According to Tuttobiciweb, the driver made a rumoured admission that he was distracted by a video playing on his mobile phone.

The 2011 Giro d’Italia winner Scarponi was training near his home town on April 22 when he was struck by the van. He had been doing a recovery ride following his strong performance in the Tour of the Alps, where he won the opening stage and finished fourth overall.

“This is a tragedy too big to be written,” his Astana team said in a statement then. “Our athlete Michele Scarponi died this morning while he was training on his bike close to his home in Filottrano. Michele has been hit by a van on a crossroad.”

A trial in relation to the case is due to begin soon in the provincial capital Ancona. The driver had initially said that his vision was was impaired by the morning sun. If, as reported, he has now changed his story to admit watching his phone screen, it could have additional and serious consequences for him.

Today’s feature image is from Khampa Pass at 4800m in Tibet as part of our upcoming ‘Roadtripping Everest’ feature. View it on Instagram to follow the story. Photo by Tim-Bardsley-Smith.

  • DCM

    Thanks for using my video :) Big fan

  • George Darroch

    It’s time to get serious about phones in cars. Jail time and enforcement would end phone use pretty quickly.

    • Agreed. I am curious how the new iOS 11 ‘car mode; works and if it is hardcoded or it can be disabled. It is more than obvious that people love their phones so the control needs to come from higher up…as much as I hate government interventions.

      Unfortuantely as I keep saying to people around me, until somebody close (ie child) of a big city mayor etc. gets killed by a texting driver with all evidence poiitng the phone was at fault – we won’t see much change and I don’t wish the above to anyone…

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      I hope you’re right. It wasn’t that long ago that high-end German sedans didn’t even have cup holders and now it seems almost your entire life can be conducted while sitting behind the steering wheel. Is there any going back? Back-in-the-day when you saw a motorist having trouble staying in his/her lane you assumed they were drunk – nowadays they’re playing with a “phone” most of the time. DUI has come down with serious enforcement, can distracted driving be next?

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