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CYCLING WORLD UNITES TO SUPPORT PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND OF WOUTER WEYLANDT, WHO DIED IN TRAGIC RACE CRASH
It is heart-warming to see the way the cycling community has pulled together following the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt when he crashed during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia on Monday.
Thousands of well-wishers have supported the foundation set up by Weylandt’s team Leopard Trek to provide financial support for the Belgian rider’s family, and donations can be made by following this Facebook link
The International Cycling Union has given its full support and invites the whole cycling family to participate in honour of the memory of the 26-year-old rider who died in such tragic circumstances, leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend Sophie Anne, who is due to give birth in September.
Weylandt fell and suffered fatal head injuries with 25 kilometres remaining of the 173-kilometre third stage of the Giro d’Italia, from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo. He was knocked unconscious and even though medics were instantly on the scene to give him cardiac massage at the scene they were unable to revive him.
1992 Olympic Gold medal cyclist Chris Boardman spoke for everyone who loves the sport when he he said he was shocked by such a ‘tragic’ accident. But Boardman, who was watching the event live when the incident happened and described the footage as ‘incredibly graphic’ and ‘horrific’ reflected the thoughts of many when he said he does not believe safety in professional cycling needs addressing.
UCI president Pat McQuaid says cycling’s governing body will investigate bike safety and “discuss with the industry the rigidity and safety aspects of bikes.”
But he conceded when “racing against nature all of the time” there was very little that could be improved. “We will make sure we are not making bikes which cause problems themselves. But they [the teams] understand there is a limit to what you can do to a bike.”
Weylandt was the first rider killed in a crash in one of cycling’s three main tours since Italian rider Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France. He is the fourth cyclist to die during the Giro and the first in 25 years. Orfeo Ponsin died in 1952, Juan Manuel Santisteban in 1976 and Emilio Ravasio in 1986.
McQuaid said: “Cycling is touched by a lot of controversy but one tends to forget that they go out everyday and risk their lives, going down the mountains at the speeds they go down.
“We see a lot of crashes in cycling and a lot of injuries but very rarely do we see a fatality and here we did. It’s such a sad situation for a 26-year-old, so so tragic.”
Sporting freeviews on VISIONSPORT.TV
The world of cycling has been stunned by the sad news that Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt died after crashing during Monday’s third stage of the Giro d’Italia.
Just 26-year-old, the Leopard-Trek rider fell at high speed and lay motionless on the roadside as paramedics tried to resuscitate him using CPR and cardiac massage.
“Despite immediate treatment there was nothing we could do,” doctor Giovanni Tredici told Italian television. “He died from a fracture to the front of his skull. We arrived at the scene 30 seconds after the crash. We tried for 40 minutes to resuscitate him.”
The tragedy has sparked a worldwde outpouring of grief and messages of condolence for Weylandt, whose girlfriend is pregnant. Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said on Twitter: “I’m shocked and saddened. May he rest in peace.”
The family of the Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt has been awarded the prize money for the Quarto dei Mille to Livorno leg of the race. Wouter Weylandt’s girlfriend, Anne Sophie, who is expecting a daughter in September, will receive 100,000 euro. The decision was unanimously adopted by all the teams in the race and approved by the race’s organizers.
Sporting freeviews on VISIONSPORT.TV