Photo Essay: Remembering Michele Scarponi

Photographer Brad Kaminski takes a look back at the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico when the race passed through Scarponi's Italian hometown.

In 2011, I photographed Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. On stage 6, the race went through Filottrano, Michele Scarponi’s hometown. As I was passing thorough Filottrano on the way to the finish in Macerata, I couldn’t help but notice how popular Scarponi was. I stopped to check out the town and take some photographs. There were signs and banners for him all over town, but there were very few people out and about. As it turns out, they were all at the finish 25 kilometers away in Macerata awaiting the arrival of their hometown hero. The circuit through Macerata took the riders up and down 20 percent grades — it’s no wonder Scarponi was such a great climber. He finished third that day, but you would have thought he was the winner by the amount of avid support that was present at the podium presentation.

After Scarponi’s tragic death Saturday, I went back into my photo archives to remember him.