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

Views: 15

Tags: Cycling, Giro, Italy, Leopard, Tour, Trek, Weylandt, Wouter, d'Italy, of

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Comment by Im_Partial on May 10, 2011 at 14:43

Cheers UTID, very difficult day yesterday.

 

Leopard Trek will be continuing in the race at the request of Wouter's Dad and wife. Today's stage is neutralised. All teams will do a 10K turn at the front of the race, finishing with Leopard crossing the line all together. Today's stage will not count towards the GC. There was also a minute's silence held at the start.

 

It's a beautiful day along the route, and some of the crowd have set up tributes at the side of the road.

Comment by rednecromancer on May 10, 2011 at 6:50
RIP
Comment by United Till I Die on May 9, 2011 at 18:50

Im-p, I thought of you as soon as I heard this tragic news.  It makes you realise how tenuous our hold on life really is and how we should grasp it close every day.

 

RIP Walter.

Comment by Im_Partial on May 9, 2011 at 18:00

Oh dear, I just read a tweet from Cancellara (a team mate) that says Walter's wife is expecting a baby.

 

Dreadful day.

Comment by 4oakslatic on May 9, 2011 at 17:37

this is truely tragic

Even with all the drugs talk around cycling the guys on the peloton are heros

Comment by Im_Partial on May 9, 2011 at 17:02

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