By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2003
Fassa Bortolo’s Denis Zanette died after suffering an apparent heart attack at his dentist’s office in the northern Italian city of Pordenone in on Friday.
Zanette, who had become a father for the first time shortly after the start of the Giro in May, collapsed suddenly and lost consciousness at his dentist’s office. He was declared dead soon after emergency medical personal brought him to Pordenone’s main hospital.
Medical officials said preliminary reports indicated that the 32-year-old cyclist had died of massive heart failure.
Investigating magistrate Antonella Dragotto immediately began a formal inquiry into the cyclist’s death.
Zanette turned pro in 1995 for AKI-Gipiemme, moved to Vini Caldirola in ’98, Polti in ’99. He moved to Liquigas in 2000, and finally to Fassa Bortolo in 2002.
He won a Giro stage in his rookie year at Santuario Vicoforte. His other wins were a stages of the Tour of Sardinia (1996), a stage of the Tour of Portugal (1999), a stage of the Tour of Denmark (2000), and his second Giro stage (2001). He was third at the Tour of Flanders in 2001.
Meanwhile the Italian cycling federation president, Giancarlo Ceruti said arrangements were being made to help Zanette’s family with an immediate 50,000-Euro grant and other assistance.
“This is not a gesture guided by emotion but is a concrete means of showing the presence and attention of the whole of our movement for this tragic incident which calls on us to display our solidarity,” said Ceruti.