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Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi dies after lorry collision

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi Credit: PA

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi has died after colliding with a lorry during a training session.

The 37-year-old's Astana team, who he had been with since 2014, said the incident was "a tragedy too big to be written".

In a statement, the team said: "This morning Michele went out on his bike for an early morning training and there the tragedy happened.

"We have lost a great champion and a special guy, always smiling in every situation."

His last tweet was a photo of himself and his two young sons.


Wiggins: Brailsford's 'marginal gains' a load of rubbish

Sir Bradley Wiggins has dismissed marginal gains process as a load of rubbish Credit: PA

Sir Bradley Wiggins has dismissed the marginal gains process at the centre of British Cycling's success under Sir Dave Brailsford as "a load of rubbish".

Wiggins was also critical of fellow Olympic gold-medallist Victoria Pendleton and sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters, who worked with Brailsford at British Cycling and Team Sky and created the "chimp paradox" model for dealing with pressure.

Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman originally headed up British Cycling's "Secret Squirrel Club", now known as "Room X" under head of technical development Tony Purnell, to find any slight advantage through modifications to bike technology and riders' clothing.

Wiggins won eight Olympic medals, including five golds, as well as the Tour de France for Brailsford's Team Sky.

But he told the Telegraph he didn't believe Brailsford's approach yielded benefits and disagreed with Pendleton, who won sprint gold at Beijing 2008 and the keirin at London 2012 and who has credited Dr Peters as a major part of her success.

A lot of people made a lot of money out of it and David Brailsford used it constantly as his calling card, but I always thought it was a load of rubbish.

It's a bit like the whole chimp thing. At the end of the day, chimp theories and marginal gains and all these buzzwords - a lot of the time, I just think you have got to get the fundamentals right: go ride your bike, put the work in, and you're either good or you're not good.

Sometimes in life or in sport, whatever, you're either good at something or you're not. That's what makes you a better athlete: your physical ability and whether you've trained enough - not whether you've slept on a certain pillow or mattress.

Vicky [Pendleton]'s a bit of a milkshake anyway. You can overanalyse things but at the end of the day, it's about your ability and whether you're a better athlete than the other person or not.

Whether you've come to grips with this other person living inside you, it's all a bit... well, each to his own. That may work with some people, but as Roy Keane would say: it's utter nonsense.

– Sir Bradley Wiggins


Vendee to host Tour de France Grand Depart in 2018

The 2018 Tour de France Grand Depart will take place in the Vendee region of western France, organisers Amaury Sport Organisation announced on Tuesday.

The 2017 Tour begins in Dusseldorf, Germany on July 1. Credit: PA

The first stage on June 30, 2018, will begin on Noirmoutier-en-l'lle and travel across the often submerged Passage du Gois before finishing after 195kilometres in Fontenay-le-Comte.

The 2011 edition also began on the island and crossed the causeway.

La Roche-sur-Yon, which has not hosted a Tour finish for 80 years, will be the finishing spot for the second stage.

And stage three will be a 35km team time-trial in Cholet as the race leaves the Vendee.

Stage four will start from La Baule, with the finish to be announced on October 17 in Paris, when the full route will be unveiled.

The 2017 Tour begins in Dusseldorf, Germany on July 1.

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