Astana to go one rider short at Giro in Scarponi tribute

Astana will race with just eight riders at the Giro d'Italia to honour the memory of Michele Scarponi.

Scarponi died after being hit by a van at a crossroads while training eight days ago.

He had been due to lead Astana in the 100th edition of the Giro with Fabio Aru injured, but they will now contest the race one rider short.

"Michele should have been our leader for the Giro and for this reason we have decided not to substitute Michele in the line-up for the race, leaving his race number free," general manager Alexander Vinokourov said in quotes reported by Cycling News.

"I think this is the right decision and I am sure the organisers of the Giro d'Italia as well as the whole cycling community will accept and understand it.

"Obviously, this is not 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.

"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 honour his memory, fighting and smiling as he taught us all to do."

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