The Giro d'Italia today remembered Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt, who died one year ago during the race's third stage. The organiser held a minute's silence in Horsens, Denmark, following Weylandt's favourite song, Sex on Fire.
"For Wouter we are having a party," race director, Michele Acquarone told Cycling Weekly. "We want to remember when he won in Middelburg in the third stage two years ago, not when he died in Rapallo last year."
Racing for team Quick Step, Weylandt took his biggest career win in the Giro d'Italia in 2010. The race started in Amsterdam, travelled through the countryside, where he won the final stage before a transfer into Italy.
On May 9 last year, racing for Leopard-Trek, the 26-year-old crashed on the descent of the Passo del Bocco. He hit his head and died almost instantly. It was the fourth death in the race's 100-year history.
Giro organiser RCS Sport has permanently retired the race number 108, which he was wearing last year. It also decided to dedicate the third stage to him every year.
"His number 108 is no longer in the race, which means he's always in the race with his number," Acquarone said. "For his memory it's great, but it's hard, it's not easy."
Acquarone dined with Weylandt's family last night. Today, they attended the stage start.
"They said that they think it will be the last time they watch a race because when they went to the races, they cheered for him. Now, they feel empty."
The race also honoured Jan Trojborg, the mayor of Horsens who died yesterday due to a heart attack. The 56-year-old left two children and his wife.
"It's important to enjoy life every day," Acquarone added, "because it can all go in a minute."
Riders pay tribute to Wouter Weylandt in Horsens prior to stage three of the 2012 Giro d'Italia
Stage two: Cavendish wins Giro stage in Herning
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one: Phinney wins opening TT
Giro d'Italia 2012: Coverage index
Giro d'Italia 2012: Latest news
Cavendish faces first Grand Tour as World Champ and father
Frank Schleck's last minute Giro adventure
Swift out of Giro after training crash
Giro d'Italia 2012: Who will win?
Sky to battle for Giro's team time trial
Hesjedal aims for Giro win
Giro d'Italia 2012: Start list
Cavendish, Thomas, Kennaugh, Swift and Stannard for Giro
Giro d'Italia 2012: Jerseys unveiled
Giro d'Italia organiser announces wildcard teams for 2012
Giro d'Italia 2012 route revealed
Giro d'Italia 2012: Live coverage
Giro d'Italia 2012 live text coverage schedule
Giro d'Italia 2012: Teams and riders
Giro d'Italia 2012 start list
Giro d'Italia 2012: TV guide
Giro d'Italia 2012: British Eurosport TV schedule
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
US cycling fatalities hit multi-decade high, but there may be hope in 'safety in numbers' effect
On average, 19 people get killed while riding their bikes in the US every single week.
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
Emma Langley nets Joe Martin Stage Race GC after storming TT performance
EF Education's Langley clinches her first UCI stage race victory in Fayetteville
By Clara Beard • Published