The Italian cycling star passed away in April 2017 after being hit by a vehicle while out on a training ride, and the absence of the charismatic 'Eagle of Filottrano' is still keenly felt in the sport.

And the decision of the Tirreno-Adriatico organisers to finish Sunday's fifth stage of the race in Scarponi's home town offered the chance for fans and riders alike to pay their respects.

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Scarponi's team, Astana, welcome his two sons aboard the team bus ahead of the start of the stage.

And Giacomo and Tommaso, along with their mother Anna Tommasi, took to the podium to award stage winner Adam Yates with his trophy.

Adam Yates with Michele Scarponi's sons and wife

Image credit: Imago

Scarponi was 37 years old when he died and had led a highly successful career that saw him record a number of major victories, including the Tirreno-Adriatico in 2009 and the Giro d'Italia, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trenrino in 2011.

His vivacious riding style and engaging personality made Scarponi a firm favourite among fans and a much-loved rider among his contempories.

The loveable Italian also developed an affectionate and surprising relationship with a local macaw named Frankje.

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