Italian sports director dies after rider collision in final sprint
Stefano Martolini perished instantly after being hit
Some tragic news from the finish of the Trofeo Castelfidardo race in central Italy’s Marche region on Sunday: Stefano Martolini, sports director of the Viris Vigevano, is dead following a rider collision.
According to l’Informatore Vigevanese, Martolini was watching the race from the side of the road, when 23-year-old Nicola Venchiarutti (Work Service) hit him.
Before the start a minute of silence was observed in memory of Stefano Martolini, Sports Director of Viris Vigevano, who died Sunday during the Trofeo Comune di Castelfidardo.#Giro pic.twitter.com/al3VIgZKV2
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 24, 2022
Venchiarutti have lost control of his bike when he hit another rider i400 m from the finish. It is estimated they were both travelling at 60km/h. After Venchiarutti hit Martolini, the forced pushed the sports director backwards. He landed on his hand and is said to have died instantly.
Italian media said nothing could be done to save the 41-year-old.
Il Giro d'Italia si raccoglie in un minuto di silenzio per Stefano Martolini, il DS tragicamente scomparso nel weekend in una gara Under23 🙏🚴♂️🇮🇹#EurosportCICLISMO #Giro pic.twitter.com/B5lvzizL9V
— Eurosport IT (@Eurosport_IT) May 24, 2022
Venchiarutti was also injured seriously, being airlifted following two fractured vertebrae. He was operated on and is now recovering. This was not the only tragedy in Italian cycling on Sunday. The Italian Cycling Federation also posted in a statement that an unnamed cyclist died of a heart attack at the Nove Colli event.