Michele Scarponi has been joined again on a training ride by feathered friend Frankie – the yellow and blue macaw who is a local celebrity in the Astana rider’s home town of Filottrano in Italy’s Marche region.
As he did earlier this month, Scarponi posted a video of himself with the bird, whose plumage matches the colours of his Astana team kit, to Twitter.
...ancora in compagnia di Frankjepic.twitter.com/1tU7fRtx9a
— Michele Scarponi (@MicheleScarponi) January 27, 2016
“Come here Frankie,” he says. “There she is!”
Then, as the bird pecks at his head as it did in the previous video, he says, “You really like this helmet, don’t you?”
Frankie then flies off briefly before returning to perch on Scarponi’s shoulders again.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.