Wouter Weylandt (27 September 1984 – 9 May 2011)
Stage 3 of this years Giro was dedicated to Wouter, as he tragically died on Stage 3 of last years race, crashing while descending the Passo del Bocco, suffering a fatal injury. With some 17 km of the stage remaining, riders were going downhill in the final part of the descent at an estimated speed of 70–80 km/h (43–50 mph). According to Manuel Antonio Cardoso, Weylandt looked back over his left shoulder at other riders before a slight left bend. He lost control and hit the leading edge of a low concrete guard rail on the left side of the road with his foot and pedal. He was thrown to the right side of the road about 10 m (33 ft) away, crashing face down. It is thought that he died immediately.
Today is the official Anniversary of his death.
He is survived by his girlfriend, An-Sophie, who, at the time of the crash, was five months pregnant with the couple’s first child. I cannot possibly imagine how horrific the loss of Wouter must have been, and still must be for An-Sophie and his family. My heart goes out to them. Their daughter, Alizée, was born on 1 September 2011.
A commemorative T-Shirt was produced by stomachofanger with Wouter’s race number from the Giro (108), not only as a way of remembering him but to also raise money for his family. The shirts, unfortunately, are now sold-out, after the company made a limited run available this year, however a Facebook page was set up by Leopard Trek to allow people to make donations to support his family.