Weylandt dies in Giro crash
Leopard-Trek rider suffers fatal fall on Passo del Bocco descent
Last Updated: May 10, 2011 4:51pm
Wouter Weylandt: 1984-2011
Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt has died following a crash on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia.
The 26-year-old Leopard-Trek rider went down on the descent from Passo del Bocco and was unconscious when medics arrived at the scene.
He received an extended period of cardiac massage but could not be revived.
"I can confirm the death of Wouter Weylandt," said Leopard-Trek spokesman Tim Vanderjeugd.
"He was taken to hospital but had already died at the scene."
Giro race doctor Professor Giovanni Tredici told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper: "Weylandt was the victim of a fall and we are still trying to reconstruct the dynamics of what happened.
"We tried immediately but he was already unconscious, his condition was already compromised.
"We tried for 40 minutes to resuscitate him but there was nothing we could do."
"The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter."
Leopard-Trek general manager Brian Nygaard Quotes of the week
The peloton was not informed of the grave nature of Weylandt's crash and the stage - covering 173 kilometres between Reggio Emilia and Rapallo - continued.
Angel Vicioso secured the win and David Millar, in second, assumed the pink jersey from his fellow Briton Mark Cavendish. Organisers cancelled the podium ceremonies.
Weylandt began his professional career with Quick Step in 2004 and spent six full seasons with the team, mainly as a support rider for Tom Boonen.
His first stage victory in the top ranks came in 2005 at the GP Briek Schotte.
Weylandt went on to win the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España in 2008 and the third stage of last year's Giro, where he prevailed in a sprint finish in Middleburg.
"Today, our team-mate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia," read a further statement from Leopard-Trek general manager Brian Nygaard.
"The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter.
"This is a difficult day for cycling and for our team, and we should all seek support and strength in the people close to us."
A statement from the International Cycling Union (UCI) read: "On behalf of the whole cycling family, the UCI president Pat McQuaid wishes to extend his deepest sympathies to all members of Weylandt's family, all his friends and team-mates, but also to all his colleagues on the Giro, who will have to overcome their grief to continue in the race."
Helmets have been mandatory in cycling since the death of Kazakhstan's Andrei Kivilev during the Paris-Nice race in 2003.
Italian Thomas Casarotto died following a crash during last year's Giro del Friuli. The last rider to die in a crash in a grand tour was Italy's Fabio Casartelli during the 1995 Tour de France.