Astana rider Michele Scarponi has posted a video of himself out on a training ride with a rather unusual companion - a parrot perched on his shoulder with its plumage matching his team colours.
con l'amico Frankje pic.twitter.com/NjaMO8OOzc
— Michele Scarponi (@MicheleScarponi) January 7, 2016
Towards the end of the video, shot in Scarponi's birthplace of Filottrano in Italy's Marche region, the female blue and yellow macaw, called Frankie, pecks playfully at his helmet, prompting the rider to tell her to "stop it!"
Frankie, aged two, is something of a local celebrity and last year hit the headlines after she went missing for several days.
When she was returned to her owner, Giacomo Luchetta, whom she believes is her mother, he said "she's well and wants lots of cuddles."
It's not the first time Frankie has joined 2011 Giro d'Italia champion Scarponi for a ride; here's a picture he took of her in February last year.
— Michele Scarponi (@MicheleScarponi) February 3, 2015
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.