Weylandt dies in tragic crash. A Giro in mourning.

///Weylandt dies in tragic crash. A Giro in mourning.

Weylandt dies in tragic crash. A Giro in mourning.

Weylandt dies in Giro crash.

Congratulations to Angel Vicioso Arcos (Androni Giocattoli) for winning the Giro stage into Rapallo in a thrilling breakaway. Congratulations to David Millar (Garmin Cervelo) for bridging up in the two kilometers, racing to second place and taking the maglia rosa.

That’s said, it’s hard not to wish this stage had never happened because then 26 year old Wouter Weylandt would still be alive. No race in the world is worth this kind of loss.

The rider for Leopard Trek crashed descending the Passo del Bocco. Race medics carried out cardiac massage for about 25 minutes and administered adrenaline and atropine. He was then airlifted to a hospital but new reports indicate he died on the spot. “His heart has stopped beating,” announced RAI’s head of sport Auro Bulbarelli.

As details of the crash emerge, the impact sounds horrific. Race officials report that his left pedal got stuck in a wall at the side of the road, throwing Weylandt 20 meters to the ground below. He’s the first rider to die in a crash since Kazakhstan’s Andrei Kivilev in 2003 at Paris-Nice.

Podium ceremonies were cancelled in Rapallo as everyone involved in the Giro — organizers, riders and fans attempt to come to terms with the tragic news. Even from a distance of several thousand miles, it’s difficult to comprehend or accept. Tributes to Weylandt are already pouring in.

We know nothing about Wouter Weylandt other than the fact that he’s Tyler Farrar’s best friend. That right there tells us he’s a super nice guy. They both live in Ghent and often train and socialize together. Weylandt’s girlfriend, Sophie, is expecting the couple’s first child in September.

Anyone who follows the sport of pro cycling knows that every crash is a roll of the dice. Most times, it’s road rash or at worst a broken collarbone but once in a while the result is catastrophic. We’ve all been there — a fast descent, a pothole we didn’t see, so lucky we didn’t kill ourselves.

The video image was disturbing: three men huddled over a fallen rider sprawled on the road, not moving at all. We waited nervously for updates and the longer the clock ticked with no news, the worse our fears became. We prayed he was okay, a case of “looked worse than it was.”

It wasn’t and our heart goes out to Weylandt’s family and friends. You look at the smiling face above, so full of life and energy and death seems an impossibility. The Giro rides on but Wouter is gone.

By |2019-02-03T16:20:29-08:00May 9th, 2011|Giro d'Italia|8 Comments

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  1. Mike May 9, 2011 at 9:59 am - Reply

    living social – 48 things to do before you die – take that tasteless advertisement down now!

    • Kristopher LaGreca May 9, 2011 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Mike– that\’s a google adsense thing that I have zero control over. Impossible to take off and they make those ad choices not me. It\’s unfortunate and usually the kind of ad is based on what each person has been searching on google. Read what I wrote about Weylandt and go from there. Matt

  2. goober b. davis May 9, 2011 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Its very sad that Wouter has died. It always amazes me with the speed and number of cyclists, that there are not more deaths. My condolences to his family.

    • TwistedSpoke May 9, 2011 at 11:32 am - Reply

      It's very true. At any moment, a crash has the potential to kill. You'd expect more than one since 2003 given those high speed descents. Matt

  3. Ricola May 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    A very tragical twist of fate, sincere condolences go out to all who knew Weylandt. Last year he won the 3rd stage of the Giro d'Italia and this year the 3rd stage is his last…

    Moreover, Weylandt himself had to overcome the death of his dear friend Frederiek Nolf, who died last year during the Tour of Qtar…

    Today is a sad day for cycling…

  4. Jason Crawford May 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Rode this morning before work and then listened to the stage and couldn't help but thinking about how every time we ride there's potential for something to go terribly wrong. May we all have the cycling gods smile down on us each time we go out and courage to those who inspire us to ride a little harder.

  5. Pal May 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    When we ride, we try not to think about it… The cars, the junk in the road, the possibility… But today we remember how blessed we felt when hit by a car we walk away, or sliding on gravel we get up to pick the gravel out of our skin; we are reminded today that each day is a gift and we are deeply saddened when we see life stolen away so quickly.

    • TwistedSpoke May 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Pal, you summed it up nicely. Today I did my ride and there's a fast descent off the hill, lots of twisty S turns and in and out of sun shine with shadows that hide potholes and cracks in the road. I went more carefully down, a wife and kids wating for me. Matt

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