Today we lost a rider from the peloton, and I'd like to pay tribute.
For those of you who don't follow cycling, the Giro d'Itlaia is currently winding its way around Italy. This is a 3-week bike race, a Grand Tour, much like the Tour de France.
Around 20k from today's Stage 3 finish, a young cyclist tragically lost his life whilst descending a climb. Medical teams were on the scene immediately, but were unable to revive him.
Walter was a young Belgian rider for the Luxembourg Leopard Trek team, and a former winner of stages in both the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana. He was well-liked in the peloton, and had a sense of fun that is so common among the road racers. Cyclists and fans alike have been quick to pay tribute after this shocking tragedy, and it gives one pause to remember that these guys take their lives in their hands every day for the love of their sport.
Leopard is my favourite team from the peloton, so it was doubly shocking to watch the tragedy unfold live on my screen.
In tribute, the organisers cancelled all the post-race festivities, and no doubt will have an additional tribute prior to tomorrow's stage.
Good-bye Wouter, we'll miss you. Thoughts with his young family, fellow-riders and friends at this time.
27 September 1984 – 9 May 2011
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