The Giro d’Italia has been overshadowed by the death of Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt during yesterday’s third stage from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo.
The 26-year-old was involved in a crash 25km from the finish line and despite immediate assistance at the side of the road never regained consciousness.
TV footage showed Leopard-Trek rider Weylandt lying on the ground and bleeding heavily from his head after falling off his bike in the descent from the Passo del Bocco. Doctors at the scene cut off his helmet and performed CPR treatment for 40 minutes.
Rotherham cyclist Russell Downing, who is riding in his first grand tour for Team Sky, posted on Twitter: “After seeing that I feel sick inside. RIP Wouter, you will be sadly missed. Lost for words.”
Weylandt won a stage of last year’s Giro and one at the 2008 Tour of Spain. The last rider to die in a crash in a grand tour was Italy’s Fabio Casartelli during the 1995 Tour de France.