On Monday, the 9th of May, our team mate and friend Wouter Weylandt died after crashing on the descent from the Passo del Bocco, the main climb in the third stage of the 2011 Giro d’Italia.
The crash of Wouter, who had won stage 3 of the Giro one year earlier, left the peloton in shock. Stage 4, along the Tuscan coast to Livorno, was neutralized; each team leading the pack for 10 kilometers and each rider with the knowledge that what happened to Wouter could have happened to anyone of their number.
Wouter’s partner An-Sophie and his family received great support from the race organizers and the whole cycling family. The team established a fund to provide monetary assistance to the family.
Wouter, stai sempre con noi.
We will never forget your radiant smile and your witty humor. You spoke with great pride about becoming a father, beginning a family with An-Sophie. Losing you left the team with a deep sadness and a sense that life is sometimes unforgiving – however hard that may be – but gave us perspective to transform this into motivation.
We will miss you. Remember you. Celebrate you.
Our hearts will carry your memory, always.