Although David Millar gained the maglia rosa on today’s Giro d’Italia, it paled into insignificance with the news of the death of Wouter Weylandt of Team Leopard Trek.
Millar’s pink jersey would normally be something I’d do a wee post on, but there will be no celebration… the podium ceremonies were cancelled and Leopard Trek and the peloton at large will be trying to think of the most appropriate way to honour the fallen rider on stage 4 on Tuesday.
This is a sad reminder to us, the racers, what risks we take and what lives we lead.
My wife was in tears when I spoke to her after the race because she couldn’t understand why the live television was showing him receiving medical attention when in such a horrific state. All she could imagine was that it was me. I haven’t told her yet, that like her, Wouter’s girlfriend is five months pregnant.
I am trying to imagine what that would be like to see the person I love most in the world in those circumstances. I can’t, and in honesty, I don’t want to.
I will wear the pink jersey tomorrow, but it will be in memory of Wouter, there is no celebration or glory, only sadness. I will discuss with Tyler, Leopard and the family of Wouter what we as a peloton will do tomorrow.
To hear that his wife was pregnant is heartbreaking, and brings home the tragedy of this horrific accident. I hope that this post does not come across as inapppropriate as did not follow Weylandt’s career closely, but what comes to mind is that something like this could happen to anyone. Although we don’t all race at World Tour level, serious crashes can happen in an amateur race, on a competitive ride or a club run with friends. Thoughts turn to Steve Donnelly who was paralysed last year and the family of John Yates who lost his life near Comrie this April.
Some really nice portrait shots by Kristof Ramon
Weylandt won stage 3 of the last year’s Giro d’Italia
Pic credits in this post: Cindy Trossaert