Wouter Weylandt has died after a horrific crash during stage three of the Giro d’Italia on Monday.

Belgian Leopard-Trek rider Weylandt, 26, fell on the Passo del Bocco descent around 25km from the day’s finish in Rapallo.

Medical staff attended Weylandt very quickly as the severity of his injuries became apparent. Medics carried out CPR and heart massage in an attempt to resuciate him. He was subsequently air-lifted to hospital but was later declared dead.

The riders had been unaware of the incident until the stage finished. Race organisers cancelled the day’s podium presentation.

Weylandt’s Leopard-Trek team issued a statement on Monday evening.

“Today, our team mate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the third stage of the Giro d’Italia.

“The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter.

“This is a difficult day for cycling and for our team, and we should all seek support and strength in the people close to us.”

Weylandt won stage three of the 2010 Giro d’Italia.

Weylandt leaves his girlfriend, An Sophie, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.