At times like this I struggle for words. I never knew Wouter Weylandt and it’s hard to say much that’s not been said more eloquently by others. Like you, I can only wish his family, friends and team mates lots of strength.
If it’s conventional to heap praise on the deceased, Weylandt was a genuine good guy liked by a lot of riders. I’d heard lot of nice things from over the years, tales of an easygoing rider, the sort you’d happily room with. Weylandt was very talented too, with some good wins to his name thanks in part to a powerful finishing sprint and a valuable team helper. In fact, I’d thought of him only yesterday morning when looking up details of the stage in the Giro’s road book: there he was in a full page picture, arms aloft, winning the stage in Middelburg in 2010.
Cycling is a dangerous sport, the open roads and high speed that are part of the sport’s beauty and attraction have another side and for me it’s a source of surprise that so many high speed accidents only result in grazes and contusions. Similarly we celebrate the health and youth of the riders and salute their bravery. Yesterday’s incident leaves lots of thoughts racing in the mind.
The Giro d’Italia will be mourning and no matter what happens until it arrives in Milan the race will be darkened. Leopard-Trek team have decided overnight to stay in the race. Today the stage of the Giro along the coast between the port cities of Genova and Livorno will be neutralised and we can expect Weylandt’s team mates to lead the race home.