Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport will continue with this year’s race after Belgian Leopard-Trek rider Wouter Weylandt died during Monday’s stage.
Weylandt crashed on the descent of Passo del Bocco 25km from the stage finish in Rapallo. Despite the efforts of a medical team to revive him at the scene, he was later pronounced dead after being airlifted to hospital.
Race director Angleo Zomegnan held a press conference on Monday evening with RCS managing director Michele Acquarone and race doctor Giovanni Tredici.
“Let the riders of team Leopard, and of all the other ones in the Giro… their choice for tomorrow’s stage. Any choice they make, we will respect it,” said Zomegnan.
RCS managing director Michele Acquarone added: “I don’t think anyone of us knows how to handle a situation like this, when this happened, my first thought was to close the event, not go ahead. Then, I talked to Angelo, the riders, I understood that the riders are the first who want to go on, to honour a colleague. Tomorrow, we will race with all the enthusiasm possible.”
“After tomorrow, we will continue with the party as much as we possibly can for the riders, for above all, Wouter.”
Organisers will again cancel any podium celebrations at the finish in respect of Weylandt’s memory.
Race doctor Tredici attended the scene of Weylandt’s accident almost immediately and said that he was met with a grave scene. Garmin-Cervelo team doctor Shannon Sovndal joined Tredici in trying to revive Weylandt before an ambulance arrived within two minutes of the incident.
Medics worked for 45 minutes to revive Weylandt before the emergency helicopter arrived to take him to hospital.
Police are currently investigating the incident.
Weylandt, 26, leaves his girlfriend An Sophie, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.