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Coquard wins stage 1 in Oman; Froome hearing may be imminent: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

February 14, 2018

Coquard wins stage 1 of the Tour of Oman; Report: Froome anti-doping hearing may take place in the coming days; Scarponi investigation closed after driver involved in collision dies; Opinion: Time for Chris Froome and Sky to rebuild the people’s trust; Mountainous Rás Tailteann route unveiled; CyclingTips Podcast: The world’s slowest wheel change and a bit of world politics; Audio: Rás legend Gaybo Howard remembered in entertaining interview; Video: UAE Team Emirates – Wind tunnel test; Video: Inertia ft. Brandon Semenuk;

Scarponi investigation closed after driver involved in collision dies

by Shane Stokes

Meeting the locals at the 2014 Tour de San Luis.

The ongoing investigation into the death of Michele Scarponi will be closed following the news on Tuesday that the driver of the van which fatally struck the Astana rider last April has died. The craftsman Giuseppe Giacconi, who came from the same town as Scarponi and was a friend of his father, was diagnosed with what La Gazzetta dello Sport describes as ‘an incurable disease’ several months ago.

Burdened by the guilt of the crash, he didn’t respond to treatment and returned home several weeks ago. The newspaper notes that the investigation had been ongoing and that because of that, criminal proceedings were never started. Giacconi was due to be buried on Tuesday.

Scarponi was a professional from 2002 to 2017, spending the last four years of his career with Astana. He was implicated in Operacion Puerto and given a 21 month ban, then returned to pro cycling in 2008. He won Tirreno-Adriatico the following season, and in 2011 finished second overall in the Giro d’Italia behind Alberto Contador.

The Spaniard was subsequently disqualified due to his positive test for Clenbuterol in the 2010 Tour de France. As a result of this, Scarponi inherited the race victory, his biggest career result. Last year he clocked up his first win since 2013 when he took the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps. He finished fourth overall and looked set for a strong Giro d’Italia, where he was due to lead the Astana team.

However he was struck and killed early on April 22 of last year. Giacconi was driving and, reportedly distracted by his mobile phone, did not see Scarponi at an intersection and collided with him. He was said to be distraught at what happened and has now himself passed, less then 10 months after the tragedy.

Click through to read the full story at La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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