Giro d'Italia Riders to Neutralize Stage after Fatal Crash

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05/10/2011| 0 comments
by Reuters and Roadcycling.com
Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan and race doctor Dt. Giovanni Tredici. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan and race doctor Dt. Giovanni Tredici. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Giro d'Italia Riders to Neutralize Stage after Fatal Crash

The pro peloton will ride slow during Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia 2011 in memory of Wouter Weylandt who died in a crash.

The pro peloton will ride slow during Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia 2011 in memory of Wouter Weylandt who died in a crash.

Giro d'Italia riders are planning a tribute to Belgium's Wouter Weylandt, who died after a crash in yesterday's stage 3 , with the results from today's fourth stage unlikely to count.

"We will respect whatever decision the riders and Wouter's team, Leopard-Trek, will take," race director Angelo Zomegnan told during a news conference.

"It is up to them to decide. But there will be no festive music or the usual celebrations, whatever happens. This is a press conference I wish I had never had to give."

Traditionally after a death in a race, a minute's silence is held at the start of the following day, the peloton will tackle the stage at a slow pace and the deceased rider's team mates come to the front of the bunch for the final kilometer.

The process is known as neutralisation.

Zomegnan said that on the Giro's eighth stage to Tropea, there had been plans to mourn the victims of a mass accident last December when seven amateur cyclists were killed by a car.

"Now, sadly, we have to pay homage to one more rider," he said.

"I feel obliged to share with you a text message I received today, reminding me that this is a sport where everybody applauds the riders, but that they all risk their lives in every single metre of the course.

"When something terrible occurs we all have to be by their side."

Race doctor Giovanni Tredici revealed the battle to save Weylandt's life had been a desperate struggle by the roadside with the 26-year-old suffering multiple injuries including to his skull.

"The attempts to revive the rider lasted 45 minutes," he said.

"I was the first to intervene, I reached the scene barely 30 seconds after he had crashed, and I was quickly joined by other experts, including a team doctor.

"But the situation was very serious, we could not do anything despite our best efforts."

Zomegnan refused to reveal exact details of how the accident happened, saying it was being investigated by a magistrate who was talking to riders who had witnessed Weylandt's fatal crash.

He did say they had kept news of his death secret for a short time so that family members could be informed.

The Giro d'Italia 2011 finishes on May 29 in Milan.

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