Friday 22 April 2022
Five years have passed since 22 April 2017, the day when Michele Scarponi (winner of the 2011 Giro d’Italia) died at the age of 38, hit by a van in his Filottrano (Ancona), while he was training for the Pink Race that was about to start.
After five years, Michele’s engaging smile has never faded. And the cyclists of the Granfondo Matildica, who this year too will pass in front of the stele dedicated to him on the ’belvedere’ of the Cavandola climb, know it well. The image of the champion had been inaugurated on 3 June 2018, sculpted in sandstone in 3 months by a team of 8 sculptors, and presented directly in front of Michele’s brother Marco, mum Flavia and dad Giacomo. "It is difficult in tragedies like this to find real people: here we have found them," thanked Marco, who was visibly moved. "This stele is also a symbol of a battle for bike safety, because dying on the road is not an acceptable fact, but unacceptable".
The Granfondo in the following editions has also dedicated to the champion the ’Salita del sorriso’ (climb of the smile), which from Ciano d’Enza arrives at the Scarponi monument through 8 kilometers at an average gradient of 4.4%, with peaks of 13%, through the castles of Rossena and Canossa. An asperity that this year will again be included in the route of the 50th edition of the Granfondo Matildica, and more precisely in that of the ’granfondo’ (149 kilometers with 2,750 meters of elevation gain, the longest of the three available), which just under 30 kilometers from the finish will decide the race.
At the same time, the collaboration with the Michele Scarponi Foundation has continued, always present on the roads of the Granfondo to pedal and raise awareness on issues of road safety and sustainable mobility. These issues are also at the heart of this edition, organized with the utmost respect for the safety of the athletes in the race, as also stressed by the testimonial of excellence Gilberto Simoni, who will be present at the 50th edition on 17 July.
Finally, we would like to remind you that it is always possible to donate to the Michele Scarponi Foundation, which is involved in several projects, including junior races, a cycling school dedicated to the champion from Filottrano and various initiatives with schools, always dedicated to road safety".
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