Wednesday 21 February 2018

Cycling: Leopard trek ride on for Weylandt

The Leopard Trek team have confirmed they will take part in stage four of the Giro d'Italia despite the death of Wouter Weylandt.

The Belgian died after crashing towards the end of yesterday's stage three and there had been suggestions his team would pull out of the race.

But they announced this morning they would "ride today to commemorate our team-mate Wouter".

They added: "Thank you for all your messages and support."

Weylandt came off his bike during a descent 25 kilometres from the finish of the 173km stage from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo.

The fall left him unconscious with blood coming from his mouth and nose, and even though medics gave him cardiac massage at the scene, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive him.

Weylandt, who won stage three of the same race last year and also stage 17 of the 2008 Vuelta a Espana, became the fourth rider to lose his life in the history of the Giro and the first since 1986.

His body has been taken to a hospital in the city of Lavagna where an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

The 26-year-old was due to become a father in September.

Leopard Trek general manager Brian Nygaard added: "We will start Tuesday out of respect for the family Weylandt and also to share our grief with the world of cycling.

"The boys were totally defeated. If there is anyone who did not want to continue, we accept that."

Today's fourth stage from Genova Quarto dei Mille to Livorno will be preceded by a minute's silence.

Press Association

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