Three hundred cyclists participate in remembrance ride for Weylandt, Nolf, De Fauw
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Three hundred cyclists participate in remembrance ride for Weylandt, Nolf, De Fauw

by VeloNation Press at 5:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Friends and family gather to set up memorial

wouter weylandtThree hundred cyclists rode in support of a memorial set up for Wouter Weylandt, Frederiek Nolf and Dimitri De Fauw in Belgium today, reports hln.be. The route went from the Sint-Pietersplein in Gent to Zwijnaarde on the Schelde river. The cyclists were amateur racers, but also friends and family of the trio. Some elite racers were there as well, including Gent-resident Tyler Farrar, who was a close friend of Weylandt. The group covered a 20-kilometer out-and-back parcours.

Weylandt, who was born in Gent, was the local hero of the daily club ride along the Schelde river. He often showed up for a warm-up along the Schelde river before doing the real training. The place where the group gathered and where the sprint would take place twice (the ride goes out-and-back twice) was chosen for the memorial - near the café De Meersbloem.

The memorial shows photos of the trio that had to go too early, with the following words edged in: "The ever-lasting power of friendship is connected in eternity."

The head of the sports department in Gent, Christophe Peeters, was in attendance to give a speech. The people who showed up included the parents of the deceased as well as many amateur cyclists who often rode together with Weylandt along the Schelde.

Some wore jerseys spotting the number 108, the race number that Weylandt was wearing in his final race, the Giro d'Italia. On some shirts, the words "Sempre con noi" (always with us) were printed. This was written on the signin-sheet at the Giro d'Italia instead of Weylandt's signature.

Weylandt died on May 9, during stage three of the Giro d'Italia. He crashed and died instantly of head injuries. Nolf and De Fauw died in 2009. Nolf was found dead in his hotel room on February 5, during the Tour of Qatar. Doctors said he died of a natural death in his sleep. De Fauw committed suicide after suffering from depression since a fatal accident at the 2006 Gent Six Day race. De Fauw collided with Isaac Gálvez Lopez, who died from his injuries sustained in the crash. Gálvez Lopez fell very unluckily against the balustrade and died on the way to hospital.

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