Italian cyclist dies in training crash

A 37-year-old cyclist died following a collision with a van

Italian cyclist dies in training crash

Daniele Badolato/AP/Press Association Images

An Italian cyclist has died after following a collision with a van during a training cycle this morning.

37-year-old Michele Scarponi was cycling close to his home in Filottrano in the province of Ancona, when the accident happened. His team has described Scarponi's death as 'a tragedy too painful to express.'

He won the first stage of the Tour of the Alps on Monday and finished fourth yesterday in Trento.

Scaproni's Astana team published an official statement about the tragedy on its website this morning:

"We've lost a great champion and a special guy, always smiling in every situation. He was a real cornerstone and a landmark for everyone in the Astana Pro Team."

"The Astana Pro Team offers its deepest sympathies to Michele’s family in this incredibly painful moment of sorrow and mourning."

The Astana rider was awarded the Giro d'Italia title in 2011 after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title. He was recently named the leader of the Astana team for this year's Giro d’Italia.