Giro d’Italia: Wouter Weylandt remembered with minute’s silence prior to stage 3
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Monday, May 07, 2012

Giro d’Italia: Wouter Weylandt remembered with minute’s silence prior to stage 3

by Shane Stokes at 8:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Tributes paid one year on to Leopard Trek rider

Wouter WeylandtOne year on from a tragic crash on the descent of the Passo del Bocco, the peloton of the Giro d’Italia today remembered the Belgian Wouter Weylandt with a minute’s silence.

Prior to the start of the 190 kilometre stage in Horsens, Weylandt’s former team-mates from the RadioShack Nissan team lined up at the front of the peloton, much as some of them had done one year earlier prior to the start of stage four, and led a minute’s silence. Also to the fore was his friend and training partner, Tyler Farrar (Garmin Barracuda).

With Wouter Weylandt’s family present, race director Michele Acquarone read a letter of condolence.

The well-liked Leopard Trek rider passed away on the third stage of last year’s race. The accident happened when his pedal clipped a low wall, sending him over the edge and onto the road below. While the date of the accident was May 9th, two days from now, the Giro organisers chose to mark the stage number rather than the date itself.

Stage three in 2010 was a much happier time, with Weylandt outkicking the bunch’s best sprinters and taking an excellent stage victory into Middelburg.

Today’s ceremony also marked the sudden passing yesterday of the mayor of Horsens, Jan Trøjborg, who suffered a heart attack on a bike ride held to mark the Giro coming to the region.

Wouter WeylandtWeylandt secured a contract with the Quick Step team after a good stagiaire trial in mid-2004. His first full year with the team in 2005 was hampered by mononucleosis, but he bounced back to take second in the 2006 Nokere Koerse.

One year later he picked up a stage and second overall in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. Stage victories in the Tour of Belgium and Ster Elektrotoer followed, as did a win in the Ronde van het Groene Hart.

In 2008 Weylandt showed he was more than a leadout man for Tom Boonen when he placed third in Gent-Wevelgem and took a stage of the Vuelta a Espana. After taking Le Samyn and another stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen in 2009, his second Grand Tour stage win followed in 2010 when he took that Giro triumph.

Fatalities are fortunately rare in professional road racing. The shock of Weylandt’s passing was felt throughout the sport, but was exceeded by the warmth with which his fellow riders remembered him by.

Today's ceremony continues on that sentiment.

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