Heir to Giro d'Italia sponsor Ferrero fortune dies while cycling in South Africa

47-year-old Pietro Ferrero suffered heart attack while riding near Cape Town

by Simon_MacMichael   April 20, 2011  

road.cc news

Pietro Ferrero, heir to the family confectionery business whose subsidiary Estathé sponsors the Giro d’Italia’s maglia rosa, has died of a heart attack while cycling in South Africa.

The 47-year-old, an avid cyclist, was taken ill as he rode his bike close to Cape Town. Heir to the Ferrero fortune together with his brother Giovanni – the pair were also joint chief executives of the business – he was visiting the country on a business trip.

Ferrero was a well-known figure in Italian cycling circels and in 2006, his contribution to the sport was recognised with the award of the Premio Vincenzo Torriani, named in memory of the man who was director of the Giro d’Italia for four decades starting in the late 1940s.

Stage 2 of this year’s Giro d’Italia starts in Alba, the town in Piedmont where Ferrero, whose brands include Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs, Nutella and Kinder, is based. What should have been a festive occasion will now assume a sombre tone.