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Giro pays tribute to Wouter Weylandt

Posted 10 May 2011

Cycling witnessed one of its most emotional days on stage four of the Giro d’Italia as the peloton honoured the memory of Wouter Weylandt whose tragic death took place on the descent of the Passo del Bocco yesterday.

Thousands of fans lined the route of the 208 kilometre stage from Quarto dei Mille to Livorno as the 23 teams and 206 riders took it in turns to lead the neutralised stage.

The stage started after a minute’s silence in memory of the Belgian Leopard-Trek rider with teams taking their turn on the front in the reverse order of the overall team classification.

Each team completed 10 kilometres as roadside fans applauded the fallen Beligian sprinter in towns along the route. Many fans chose to pay their respects my making signs with Weylandt’s 108 bib number.

The most poignant scenes took place over the final ten kilometres as the Garmin-Cervelo team of race leader David Millar took their turn on the front before making way for the Leopard-Trek team over the final four kilometres.

The team was joined by Tyler Farrar who was moved to tears as he took the place of his closest friend in the Leopard Trek line-up as it fanned across the road a short distance ahead of the peloton.

The nine riders put their arms around each other as they completed the final 50 metres in Livorno as spectators and race officials applauded the memory of the 26 year old whose death has numbed the sport.

The race will recommence tomorrow with the GC remaining the same as it stood after stage three. The 201 kilometre stage five takes the rider from Piombino to Orvieto.

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