Astana’s Michele Scarponi hasn’t won a ton of races recently but the Italian rider may just have the strangest riding companion you have ever seen. The 36 year-old veteran, whose last victory was as the winner of the general classification at the 2011 Giro d’Italia, seems to enjoy the company of a parrot whose name is Frankie. As seen in a video posted to his twitter account, Scarponi seems to like Frankie accompanying and swooping around him as he rides along in his home town of Filottrano. The parrot, which is a local celebrity in the town, belongs to Giacomo Luchette.

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The blue parrot, whose plumage quiet nicely matches Scarponi’s Astana teams colours, is a macaw which can have a lifespan of up to 50 years. This sort of domesticated parrot is known for having a loud screech and for their ability to learn various tricks. Scarponi seems to have taught this macaw to be a perfectly suitable and highly entertaining training companion.

It’s not the first time the parrot makes an appearance on Scarponi’s twitter. In January in a video showing it perched on his shoulder, the parrot seems quite content to hop on for an easy ride. When it begins to peak at his helmet, Scarponi playful shoo’s it away.

Frankie made his debut on Scarponi’s twitter in February of 2015.


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