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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.