Giro riders pay respects to Weylandt

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Rotherham’s Russell Downing and Sheffield’s Adam Blythe were part of the tribute to tragic Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt yesterday at the Giro d’Italia.

Weylandt, aged 26, died instantly after crashing during Monday’s third stage, 25km before the finish in Rapallo as he descended from the Passo del Bocco.

As a mark of respect to Weylandt the 216km fourth stage along the north west coast of Italy from Genova Quarto dei Mille to Livorno was jointly won by the members of his Leopard-Trek team and best friend Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Cervelo.

The prize money was donated to his family and partner Anne Sophie, who is due to give birth to the couple’s first child in September. After a minute’s silence each team took their turn in leading the peloton.

Downing, aged 32, riding for Team Sky in his first Grand Tour race, is 115th overall; 2 minutes 29 seconds behind Britain’s Pink Jersey wearer David Millar.

Former Sheffield Phoenix rider Blythe, aged 21, now with the Belgian-based Omega Pharma-Lotto team, is 201st on the general classification standings, 11:08 behind. Favourite, Alberto Contador of Spain, is in 25th position.

Today’s 191km stage travels inland from the west coast of Italy at Piombino to Orvieto. The race ends on May 29.