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Thousands to attend Michele Scarponi's funeral tomorrow (+ videos)

Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru among the mourners who will be at service for Astana rider who was killed on Saturday

Thousands of mourners will tomorrow pay their respects to Michele Scarponi as the 37-year-old, winner of the 2011 Giro d’Italia, is laid to rest in his home town of Filottrano following his death at the weekend.

More than 7,000 people are expected to attend the service in the Marche town’s football stadium, which begins at 3.30pm and will be conducted by the Cardinal of Ancona, Edoardo Menichelli, reports the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Among those present will be former Astana rider Vincenzo Nibali, whom he helped win the Tour de France in 2014, and Fabio Aru, who only last week was revealed by the Kazakh team to be missing the Giro d’Italia through injury with Scarponi due to lead its challenge instead.

> Tributes paid to Michele Scarponi

Scarponi, who just a week ago won the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps was killed on Saturday morning while on a training ride when the driver of a Fiat Iveco flatbed truck reportedly failed to give him priority.

The driver, a 57-year-old local man, was reported to have told Carabinieri that he had not seen the cyclist.

> Reports: Driver of truck in crash that killed Michele Scarponi failed to give way 

The Astana rider’s body, dressed in the colours of his team, is currently in a chapel of rest with people queueing up to pay their respects – among them, the parents of Tour de France and Giro d’Italia champion Marco Pantani, who joined Scarponi’s parents in prayer.

This weekend, Italian sport paid tribute to him, including Serie A clubs holding a minute’s silence ahead of their matches – accompanied at the Juventus Stadium in Turin by images of Scarponi on the big screen, retweeted by former world number 1 cyclist, Michele Bartoli.

Before the start of Liege-Bastogne-Liege yesterday, the peloton observed a minute’s silence in memory of Scarponi.

His Astana team also produced this tribute video.

One poignant image circulating on social media today shows the macaw named Frankje, who would often join Scarponi on training rides near his home – he regularly posted videos of her flying onto his shoulder or helmet – perched on the sign at the crossroads where he was killed.

> Video: Mac-awww... Michele Scarponi goes riding with a parrot on his shoulder

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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