By now, many of you have no doubt heard the word that Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt died in a crash at the Giro d’italia yesterday. He was just 26 years old and leaves behind a wife who is pregnant with their first child.
Race officials say that the accident occurred while Weylandt was racing down the Bocco mountain pass at about 72 km/h (45 mph). Apparently his pedal became stuck in a wall that lined the side of the road, sending him hurdling 20 meters to the ground below. The crash left him unconscious and bleeding, while paramedics struggled to assist him on the scene. He was later transported to a nearby hospital, where he was later declared dead.
This is the first time that a rider has died in the 25-year history of the Giro. The tragedy comes on the third stage of the cycling classic, the same stage that Weylandt won last year. The race continues today despite the accident, and Weylandt’s teammates on Team Leopard-Trek have elected to continue racing. The riders in the peloton have donned black armbands in remembrance of their fallen comrade as well. The start of todays stage was also neutralized, with all teams riding together for 10km out of respect for the Belgian.
I saw this news later yesterday, but didn’t have a chance to report on it until this morning. It is a sad day for fans of cycling and I want to send on my sincere condolences to Wouter’s friends and family in their time of grief.
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