Cycling pays tribute to Wouter Weylandt
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Cycling pays tribute to Wouter Weylandt

by Ben Atkins at 4:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Entire sport shaken by the sudden death of the popular Belgian sprinter

wouter weylandtThe sport of cycling is in shock at the news of the death of Belgian sprinter Wouter Weylandt. Many have been paying their respects, via Twitter, official statements and comments to the press; below is a selection.

Weylandt’s Leopard Trek team:
“Today, our teammate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the 3rd stage of the Giro d’Italia. The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter.

“This is a difficult day for cycling and for our team, and we should all seek support and strength in the people close to us.”

Weylandt’s former team Quick Step, where he spent six years:
“On behalf of the entire Quick-Step Cycling team our hearts go out to Wouter’s family, friends and the colleagues of Team Leopard, in this sad, sad time. For all of us, Wouter was a friend before he was a colleague. We remember him as an honest man, always available with a smile on his face and forever generous towards the next guy.

“Wouter leaves us with a terrible sense of loss and unbearable grief. We want to remember him with arms held high, crazy with joy after a victory, like the one at Middelburg last year. This is the image of him that all of us will carry in our hearts forever.”

Angelo Zomegnan, Director of the Giro d’Italia:
“First of all, we want to express condolences to Wouter’s family and to his wife Anne Sofie that we're going to receive at Malpensa Airport at 22.30.

“As Prof. Tredici explained, what happened was inevitable. The doctors have done everything they could but the situation was hopeless from the very first moments. We also thank them for their efforts and for the immediate intervention.

“We have received messages of condolence from the UCI President, Pat McQuaid, the president of Federciclismo, Renato Di Rocco, and the president of the professional riders, Gianni Bugno.

“We had already planned to remember the victims of Lamezia Terme in St. Eufemia, during the eighth stage from Sapri in Tropea. Unfortunately, will have one more to remember.

“I want to emphasize that we respect the choices of the Leopard Trek Team and those of other teams to decide what to do in the coming days.

“Before considering other details we would like to meet the family.”

Leopard Trek manager Brian Nygaard, via Twitter:
“We lost a great team mate and a true friend on the roads to Rapallo. Rest in peace Wouter.

“All our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Wouter. The team in Italy will decide on our further race participation tonight.”

Lampre-ISD team:
“In Parma we celebrated Petacchi's victory, in Rapallo we're living with opposite but very intense feelings: the pain for the death of Wouter Weylandt, cyclist.  Team Lampre-ISD consoles with Wouter's family and with the Team Leopard Trek.”

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad), via Twitter:
“Things like this shouldn't happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt.”

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, via Twitter:
“Just back from a run and got the news of Wouter Weylandt's death today in the Giro. I'm shocked and saddened. May he rest in peace.”

Robbie McEwen (RadioShack), via Twitter
“Devastated. Wouter Weylandt”

Leopard Trek teammate Fabian Cancellara, via Twitter
“Black day....i feel really sad what happen with wouter weylandt. My condoloence to his wife and family. His wife is even pregnant..”

RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel, via Twitter:
“Such a sad day for our sport. RIP Wouter Weylandt. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I'm shocked.”

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), via Twitter:
“Days like this put this great sport we love into perspective, Wouter rest in peace now mate, thoughts are now with the family and freinds!”

Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad), via Twitter:
“Shocking to hear the news after the stage. Nobody wants this in cycling. Thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP Wouter Weylandt”

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervélo), via Twitter:
“Rest in peace, Wouter. And to his family, friends and teammates, I am deeply sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.”

World cyclocross champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step), via Twitter:
“What a terrible news! This can't be true!”

Former Quick Step teammate and CPA president Cedric Vasseur, via Twitter:
“Horrible day.. Having no word. RIP Wouter”

Garmin-Cervélo team manager Jonathan Vaughters, via Twitter:
“Peace be with you, Wouter.”

Eurosport commentator David Harmon, via Twitter:
“Sean [Kelly] and I will raise a Leffe to one of the most charismatic sprinters of his generation. He will be missed on the Schelderun. RIP

“Our deepest sympathies to his family, loved ones and team from everyone here at Eurosport.”

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard):
"Irrespective of whether each of us is in a team, we are all in the same place and this is a very difficult day for the world of cycling."

Roman Kreuziger (Astana):
"We think about his relatives, his family and his team. We are very touched by this news, although we are not in the same team, [he] was one of our fellows on the roads, so it affects us. In this atmosphere, it will be harder to think of victory."

Former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre (Geox –TMC):
“Commenting on the third stage of the Giro is not an easy task considering the loss of Weylandt. It is a situation that none of us were expecting and that no-one wanted, but this is what has tragically happened in this Italian Giro. The news of the loss of this young man is hard and difficult for all of us, but that is cycling and now we just have to keep looking towards the future, and send all our love to all his family, his team mates and everyone who was close to him”,

Former Quick Step teammate Johan Museeuw, according to Het Laatste Nieuws, who witnessed the fatal crash of Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France:
"When I saw Wouter Weylandt fall in the Giro, I knew immediately it was serious. The resemblance to [the crash of] Fabio Casartelli was striking."

"Such descents are ridden at a very high speed. The protection which the riders wear in that case is not always sufficient to avoid serious injuries.

"We're all a in mourning. Weylandt was a young rider who had his entire life ahead of him."


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