It’s been a heavy week. The death of Wouter Weylandt will overshadow the Giro and leave an indelible mark on the whole season. He won’t be forgotten, more so since the Giro has taken the number 108 out of the race for good. A nice touch but I’d like to see a more lasting and positive tribute, not just a missing number amongst many but a positive way to commemorate the young Belgian.
So much has been said but all the words can’t help the loss his family and friends experience. If there was any consolation it was the dignified manner that the sport paid tribute to him. The procession in the Giro, his team and the media – with the exception of a few outlets publishing certain images – managed a united tribute to Weylandt as a rider, team mate and man alike. The loss of life, the risks of racing and more were debated but I didn’t see any polemics on safety or other matters.
You can make donations to Weylandt’s family on the Leopard Trek website, just see the link at the bottom of the page. Note there is now a Paypal link which I think means you can give the even the tiniest of amounts without bank charges. It’s certainly easy.
Leaks and infighting
But the week has finished on a more predictable note L’Equipe leaks information and the UCI stumbles to cope with the media impact. Meanwhile riders are left in an impossible situation, fans don’t know what to make of it and the mainstream media runs another “pro cycling = doping” story.
I feel for the riders woke up to worrying scores and a lot of finger-pointing. It’s a mess but once the storm passes let’s note the UCI tests certain riders more than others. That makes sense, many readers will have their own suspicions already but the UCI has evidence from blood tests. We should be worried if the UCI didn’t test riders more than others although the WADA report on the UCI’s testing procedures last summer did suggest that the UCI wasn’t testing the most suspicious riders enough.
Ride your bike
What to do with all the bad news? Go for a ride. It’s healthy for the body and as I’ve written before, it’s good for mind too. There are risks from both a ride in to work and a race but don’t hesitate. Cycling in almost any form is good for you. Better still, it’s fun.
Whatever you do this weekend, have a safe and enjoyable ride and if possible amongst the traffic, competition or breathlessness, spend a moment to realise how lucky you are..