Michele Scarponi, the winner of the 2011 Giro d'Italia race, died Saturday after being hit by a van while training. The famous cyclist was struck near his home in Filottrano, near Ancona, and reportedly died of his injuries on the spot. He was 37 and leaves behind a wife and two sons. Team Astana, for whom Scarponi was due to compete in an upcoming race, issued a statement lamenting the “tragedy too big to be written,” describing Scarponi as a “great champion and a special guy, always smiling in every situation.” Scarponi had just returned home Friday after coming in fourth in the Tour of the Alps. Davide Cassani, the coach of Italy’s national cycling team, expressed shock over the accident on Twitter. “Yesterday he was racing. He came up to me. Michele was smiling, as ever. He was happy for (Monday's) win. He was talking about the Giro. And now I'm here crying for him. Oh my God,” Cassani wrote.