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by Matt de Neef
May 1, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Richie Porte wins the Tour de Romandie; Serge Pauwels wins men’s Tour de Yorkshire with final-stage victory; Lizzie Deignan wins women’s Tour de Yorkshire; Quintana tunes Giro form with Vuelta Asturias queen stage victory; Christine Majerus takes overall win at Festival Elsy Jacobs; Astana opt not to replace Michele Scarponi in Giro line-up; Remembering Chad Young – A tribute from the team soigneur; Moscon racially abuses Reza at Tour de Romandie; Film review – Thereabouts 3; Big crash in the women’s Red Hook Crit.
With Fabio Aru out of the Giro d’Italia due to injury, it was supposed to be Michele Scarponi that would lead the Astana team in the race’s 100th edition. But then, the charismatic Italian was killed while out training, leaving the Astana team — and the cycling community in generally — in shock.
In announcing its revised line-up for the Giro, Astana has opted not to replace Scarponi, instead honouring the fallen rider by not using his race number. As a result the team will start the race with eight riders, not nine.
“What has happened to Michele is a real tragedy that no one could expect or face out,” said team manager Alexandre Vinokourov. “It is a huge blow for the whole team. Michele should have been our leader for the Giro and in this reason we decided not to substitute Michele in the line-up for the race, leaving his race number free. Every day in this Giro d’Italia as well as in all other races Michele will be with us and day by day we will ride trying to honor his memory, fighting and smiling as he taught us all to do.
“I think, this is right decision and I am sure the organizers of the Giro d’Italia as well as the whole cycling community will accept and understand it. Obviously, this will not be the only initiative that Astana Proteam is promoting to remember Michele and also to help his family. We initiated such an important thing as the fundraiser for his family, while many others will be developed in the next weeks and months.”
The Astana roster for the 2017 Giro d’Italia is as follows: Pello Bilbao, Zhandos Bizhigitov, Dario Cataldo, Jesper Hansen, Tanel Kangert, Luis Leon Sanchez, Paolo Tiralongo and Andrey Zeits.