Giro Stage 4: Farewell, Wouter Weylandt
Today, the peloton said farewell to Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek).
Today, the peloton said farewell to Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek), who was killed in a Stage 3 crash. Stage 4, a 216-km ride from Quarto dei Mille to Livorno, was neutralized, and the riders rode it without racing. The day began with a moment of silence. Then, the ride began with Weylandt's Leopard-Trek teammates leading.
Each team spent 10 km at the front. At the side of the road, the fans, who before Weylandt's death had anticipated cheering competition, applauded respectfully. The peloton moved at between 37 and 40 km/h.
With one km left, maglia rosa David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) signaled the Leopard-Trek riders to take the lead. Leopard-Trek invited Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo), Weylandt's best friend, to join them, and he did so. Leopard-Trek and Farrar went 10 m in front of the peloton and crossed the finish line arm-in-arm, with Farrar visibly bereaved. Millar led the rest of the field home.
The Leopard-Trek team was invited to join the four jersey wearers at the podium. There was no hoopla or celebration. All stood in front of an image of Weylandt winning Stage 3 of the 2010 Giro. A bugler played the Last Call, and the postrace ceremony ended.
Farrar left the race immediately, and Leopard-Trek, after initially indicating that it would continue, also decided to leave the Giro. Tomorrow, the Giro will go on, but today was no day for competition. It was a day for mourning and contemplation.