Tragedy struck Stefano Martolini just meters from the finish line of the amateur Trofeo Castelfidardo race in central Italy’s Marche region on Sunday, resulting in Martolini’s death.
The team director for the amateur Viris Vigevano team was watching the conclusion of the race, hoping his riders were sprinting for victory, when Paduan Work Service team rider Nicola Venchiarutti rode onto the sidewalk at 60 kph while approaching the finish and head-on into Martolini standing on the side of the road.
The crash impact was so tremendous Martolini fell backwards, banging his head on the hard concrete and dying almost instantly according to emergency rescue workers. Local news reported efforts to revive the 41 year-old Martolini were not possible.
After examining amateur video footage of the final moments of the race prosecutor Andrea Laurino has opened a criminal investigation on Venchiarutti, who was taken by air ambulance to hospital in Ancona with two fractured vertebrae and is expected to make a full recovery.
Federazione Ciclistica Italiana, Italy’s national cycling organization, called Martolini a “passionate” team director with decades of cycling experience. In 2020 he became team director for his hometown club in the city of Vigevano, 30 kilometers from Milan.
Photos: Viris Vigevano