Funeral services held for Wouter Weylandt, thousands show in support
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Funeral services held for Wouter Weylandt, thousands show in support

by VeloNation Press at 10:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Will be remembered as one of the nice guys

Wouter WeylandtThousands gathered at St. Peter's Square in Gent, Belgium today to attend the funeral service for Wouter Weylandt.  Weylandt's tragic death was the result of a horrific crash on the descent of the Passo del Bocco last Monday during stage three of the Giro d'Italia, the very stage he won the previous year.

At 8am his white casket was brought into the church by six of his Leopard Trek teammates who were present on that fateful day in Italy.  Fans were invited inside to pay their respects to Weylandt prior to the start of the service.

Inside the packed church the service was a celebration of the 26 year old's life that included a video montage and tributes from several of those that we close to him.  Ceremonies inside the church were also shown on a big screen in the square, so supporters outside could take part.

In attendance were members from his Leopard Trek team dressed in black suits and pink scarves.  Team leaders Frank Schleck and Fabian Cancellara and many others were present, with those not physically in attendance there in spirit, as many are currently participating in the Tour of California.

There was a moment of silence prior to today's stage of the Giro d'Itaila in memory of Weylandt and prayers were said for him prior to the riders leaving.

Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan suprisingly left the Giro d'Italia to also be present at the service, something that would not be expected, but a gesture that was certainly appreciated.  Former teammate Tom Boonen, Belgian cycling great Eddy Merckx and close friend Tyler Farrar are just a few of cycling's royalty that came to pay their respects to the young rider.

"He was crazy good," Farrar told Het Nieuwsblad.  "At first I found him the coolest rider in the peloton, but when I got to know him, I quickly noticed that he was the friendliest."

The American's sentiment towards Weylandt echoed throughout Gent on Wednesday, and it underscored the sad reality that Weylandt will not be present when his girlfriend An Sophie gives birth to their daughter later this year.  His Leopard Trek team has setup a memorial fund in order to help Wouter's family through this incredibly difficult time and into the future.  The team has now added the ability to quickly make a contribution via PayPal.  Donations to the fund are a way for the cycling world to help Wouter provide for his child as he would have wished to had he been able.

To donate to the Wouter Weylandt fund via PayPal use the link below:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VZEPVG5AK9WGG

If you wish to send a payment to the bank here is the information:

Bank: Dexia Banque International a Luxembourg

Bank Address: 69, route d'Esch, L-2953 Luxembourg

Account Name: LEOPARD SA 'WOUTER WEYLANDT'

IBAN: LU93 0020 6100 0904 0500

BIC: BILLLULL

Recipient address: 1, rue Peternelchen, L-2370 Howald

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