The Heartbreakingly Poignant Moment A Parrot Mourns His Fallen Cycling Partner

Michele Scarponi was quite the cyclist.

Among other notable results, he won the 2011 Giro D’Italia,
which is one of just two other “grand tour” multi-stage cycling
races considered on par with the Tour de France.

He was also quite the man — a father, husband and convivial
figure who was dearly loved in the cycling world.

RS via Getty Images He had
twin boys.

“Scarponi always sought out happiness in life, using a joke, a
smile and a funny face to ease the pain, the suffering, and the
disappointment of professional cycling,” read an obituary on the website Cycling News
after the Italian, aged 37, was killed in a collision with a van during a
weekend training ride.

Now images and video have emerged showing that Scarponi was
quite the bird lover too. Here he was a few months ago training
with his semi-regular avian training partner, Frankie the

For the record (and thanks to our blog editor Chris Harrison for the
translation), the dialogue goes a little something like this:

“Come on, Frankie. Where is he? Here he is! Haha, onya,
Frankie. C’mon, let’s go. Did you miss me? Hey, what are you
doing? You really like this helmet, don’t you? Where are you
going? Let’s go, Frankie!”

A man and his faithful bird. It’s touching, no?


You can read a whole lot more about the relationship between
bird and bike rider in this 2016 piece on the cycling website
, in which Scarponi explained that:

“First of all, Frankie is not my ‘pappagallo’ [the Italian
word for parrot]. He is the macaw of a neighbour who lives in
a nearby village. Frankie is the mascot of our area, and
during the summer, he flies from house to house, and goes
into all the windows he finds open. He goes to the bar for
the big soccer matches. Everybody knows him.”

While Frankie clearly knew many people in the Marche area of
Italy where Scarponi lived and trained, she clearly had a soft
spot for Scarponi, as evidenced by this image of her sitting on
a sign adjacent to the spot where the rider was tragically

The sign is adorned with memorial flowers, and you’d swear the
parrot appears to be waiting for her favourite cyclist to ride


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The Heartbreakingly Poignant Moment A Parrot Mourns His Fallen Cycling Partner

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