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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Date published:
May 10, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Millar pays tribute to Weylandt

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2011, 19:40 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Giro leader to wear maglia rosa in honour of fallen Belgian

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) has vowed to wear the Giro dItalia’s maglia rosa in honour of Wouter Weylandt, who tragically died during stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.

    The Leopard Trek rider crashed on the descent of the Passo del Bocco and despite immediate medical assistance, he died from his injuries.

    Millar and the rest of the peloton were unaware of the severity of the situation and the Briton countered a four man move in the closing kilometers. He missed out on the stage win, but did enough to claim the leader’s jersey. The podium ceremony was understandably cancelled.

    “I will wear the pink jersey tomorrow, but it will be in memory of Wouter, there is no celebration or glory, only sadness. I will discuss with Tyler [Farrar], Leopard and the family of Wouter what we as a peloton will do tomorrow.”

    Farrar was a close friend of Weylandt and the American apparently dropped his bike at the finish when he was told of the news.

    “Within our team we have one of Wouter's best friends, Tyler, in a way he was Ty's European brother,” continued Millar.

    “The next few days are going to be very difficult for us as racing cyclists, but for Tyler, and the friends and family of Wouter it is going to be a lifetime of loss.

    “I love cycling, and I've always been enchanted by the epic scale of it all, it was why I fell in love with it as a boy. Yet Wouter's death today goes beyond anything that our sport is supposed to be about, it is a tragedy that we as sportsmen never expect, yet we live with it daily, completely oblivious to the dangers we put ourselves in. This is a sad reminder to us, the...

  • Video: Zomegnan to respect memory of Weylandt

    The post-stage 3 press conference.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2011, 20:37 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Giro d'Italia director to let peloton decide on stage 4 dynamic

    Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan will leave it to the riders themselves to decide how best to honour the memory of Wouter Weylandt, who died after crashing on the descent of the Passo del Bocco on stage three.

    Speaking at a press conference in Rapallo on Monday evening, Zomegnan explained that race organisers RCS Sport would respect whatever decision the riders took regarding the running of stage four to Livorno.

    "We will leave it to the riders of Leopard Trek and to all of the other riders of the Giro d'Italia the freedom to choose how they wish to interpret tomorrow's stage," he said. "Whatever decision they take, we will respect it."

    Zomegnan also outlined that the Giro would maintain a somber tone on the road to Livorno, with a minute's silence to be observed before the start. Following the conclusion of Monday's stage, the race organisers respectfully kept the post-stage presentation ceremonies to a minimum, with no music played on the podium.

    At the 1995 Tour de France, race organisers were roundly criticised for continuing as normal with jersey presentations in the wake of Fabio Casartelli's death on the descent of the Col de Portet d'Aspet.

    "Tomorrow morning, we will repeat what happened at Alba in honour of the memory of Pietro Ferrero," Zomegnan said, noting the Alba chocolatier and cycling enthusiast's death earlier this year. "Tomorrow afternoon, according to what happens in the stage, we will get rid of the music, cancel the festive atmosphere and keep things low key, as happened in the final 10km of today's stage."

    Although Weylandt was pronounced dead on the scene, the race organisers sensitively delayed making an official announcement...

  • Farrar remembers Weylandt as a 'brother'

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2011, 22:36 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cycling community mourns loss of popular Belgian

    The tragic death of Leopard Trek rider Wouter Weylandt in the Giro d'Italia today struck the cycling community hard today, but nowhere was the pain felt more than in the small Belgian city of Ghent, where the 26-year-old made his home.

    Garmin-Cervélo's Tyler Farrar made the town his European base after becoming a professional, and soon became a close friend and training partner of Weylandt.

    Farrar made a poignant statement on Monday evening:

    "I am unbearably saddened by the loss of Wouter today. As many know, he was my friend, training partner, and in many ways, another brother to me. His death marks and irreparable change in my life but more importantly, in the lives of his family and most loved.

    "Wouter was one of the kindest, funniest, and most admirable people I have ever had the opportunity to know and his death is a tragedy to his family, his friends, and to the sport as a whole.

    "I can only convey my deepest of sympathies to everyone who cared about him as deeply as I did, especially his family, his friends, his team and his fans – we celebrate his life and morn his death in equal measure.

    "Wouter was and is the soul of this sport we all love – an athlete who sacrificed himself for the better of many and a champion who celebrated each glory as a victory for his family, his team, and his friends and fans.

    "I will remember him always, and will always strive to do him proud, as he has always done for the sport and people he loves."

    Another Ghent professional, Iljo Keisse, said on Twitter, "Lost my best friend today. Wouter you where like a brother to me. Thanks for all the good times I'll never [f]orget what you did for me!"

    The Quick Step team, with...

  • Australian cycling community mourns death of Shamus Liptrot

    Shamus Liptrot passed away on Sunday night tragically after a long recovery from injuries he suffered while racing in 2007.
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 2:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Passing comes as a shock for family and friends

    The Australian cycling community is in mourning following the unexpected death of young cyclist Shamus Liptrot. The 19-year-old passed away on Sunday evening in his family home in the north of Adelaide with his parents by his side.

    "We have lost the most beautiful person I have ever met," Mr Liptrot's father Malcolm said. "He had worked so hard and never gave up his love of life, we are in disbelief; this has come as a total shock."

    Liptrot was in the process of a long rehabilitation from injuries he suffered while racing at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals in 2007 as a member of the South Australian SASI Team O’Grady. The talented young rider was competing in the Men’s C-Grade scratch race. As the field raced to the finish line with about 150 metres to go the lead group fell with seven riders hitting the track. Liptrot skidded across the top of the surrounding perimeter fence hitting one of the light poles.

    He suffered brain trauma, a fractured jaw, femur, and skull and was lucky to escape with his life.

    Doctors at the time were enthusiastic about his recovery and in the last 18 months, Liptrot had learnt how to walk and talk again and was back training on his bike at home.

    His death thus comes as a real shock to his family, friends and the broader cycling community.

    Max Stevens, Cycling South Australia:
    "I’m speechless, and words fail me at this time. Our love is with Patricia and Malcolm and the many people who have loved and supported Shamus and the Liptrots since the tragic accident."

    Shane Perkins:
    "Very sad to hear the news about Shamus Liptrot, thoughts go out to friends and family! You’re an inspiration shamo - to me and others!"

  • NetApp without Cozza in Amgen Tour of California

    Team NetApp 2011
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 4:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German team taking on race in sponsor's home state

    Team NetApp will take on the Amgen Tour of California without Steven Cozza.  The American rider, who was signed especially for the race, is ill, but the German team still promises a strong team looking to make an impression at the race.

    Cozza told Cyclingnews that he hasn't been feeling well all year, and only recently learned he has had a long-standing parasitic infection that led to a yeast infection in his small intestine which has affected his digestion.

    "It is a huge disappointment for me and the team," Cozza said. "Apparently I have been carrying the parasite around for a long time and it caused something called candida albicans overgrowth. I'm on anti-parasitic medication now and am already starting to feel better."

    Cozza said he will make a full recovery as soon as he kills off the yeast with a combination of low-carbohydrate diet and anti-fungal medication. He aims to get back to racing in June at the Tour of Norway and Ster ZLM Toer in Belgium.

    "I'm very thankful that my team has give me its full support, and given me time to get 100% well before I put my body through the stress of training and racing.

    "I'm looking forward to having a strong end to the season - I usually get stronger toward the end of the year, but this will give me extra motivation for July and August."

    In light of the death of Wouter Weylandt, Cozza said his problems pale in comparison. "It really puts my situation into perspective. My heart goes out to his family."

    NetApp roster for Tour of California announced

    The NetApp team will do its first race outside of Europe at the Amgen Tour of California. The team will have a presentation before the race at the international headquarters of...

  • Hondo assists Petacchi before building his own team

    Danilo Hondo before the third stage of the Giro d'Italia 2011
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 4:50 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    German lead out man instrumental in Giro sprint

    Danilo Hondo has been fundamental in Lampre-ISD's strong performance (6th) at the inaugural team time trial of the Giro d'Italia and his lead out for Alessandro Petacchi in stage 2 was exemplary. At the age of 37, the German has other things in mind, like his project of creating a team to revive cycling in his country.

    Hondo's complicity with Petacchi is really strong. "We've known each other as rivals a long time ago and there was a lot of respect between us", Hondo told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 3 in Reggio d'Emilia. "Three years ago when I was riding for Diquigiovanni-Androni, we spoke about working together. He wanted me at LPR in 2009 but there was no budget left. For me, he's one of the fastest and most complete sprinters. We've put friendship in our relationship with our families and we go around the world. I know him so well that I can understand what's important for him, also after the races. At the end of last year, we went together to California for training and I joined him in Tuscany in January."

    At the Presidential Tour of Turkey, Petacchi won the queen stage but lost a few sprints as well. He didn't hide that he was looking forward to have Hondo to lead him out at the Giro. "As I did all the classics, we had a different program", the German said.

    In 2009, while riding for Czech team PSK-Whirlpool, Hondo had taken up a role in the marketing side of the team management and he was working on reviving German cycling by involving his long term friend Jan Ullrich in the creation of a big team like Telekom was.

    "The project is still running", Hondo said. "But good projects need time to take shape...

  • Savio reverses Vicioso’s sad destiny

    The finish line was eerily silent as Vicioso celebrates, having no idea that Weylandt had died.
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 6:12 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Spanish rider reinstated as Giro stage winner 11 years after disillusion

    There wasn't any celebration for Angel Vicioso's stage win at the Giro d'Italia in Rapallo because of the death of Wouter Weylandt but Androni Giocattoli-C.I.P.I.'s team manager Gianni Savio talked to Cyclingnews about his new protégé.

    "To me, the organisation of the Giro took the right decision to cancel all podium ceremonies and celebrations at the end of the stage following the tragic death of Weylandt", Savio stated.

    "However, the race has been a normal one. The riders weren't informed of the gravity of the accident. We, from the team car, didn't communicate to them about the matter. We didn't know the outcome but when we passed near the injured rider, we understood that he was in extremely severe conditions."

    Without the joy that normally follows victory, Vicioso has reached his goal of winning a stage at the Giro d'Italia, something he already did in 2000 in a bunch sprint of 80 riders at the end of stage 15 in Brescia, ahead of Biagio Conte and Alessandro Petacchi while riding for Kelme-Costa Blanca. "But he was unfairly disqualified", Savio remembered. "Destiny was against him."

    Vicioso's career went into limbo when his name was made in Spanish media publishing a long list of riders implicated in the Operacion Puerto on June 30, 2006. However, a rider of Manolo Saiz' Liberty Seguros team at the time, he wasn't pursued on any particular doping charges but he only managed to enter smaller teams after that: Relax-GAM in 2007, LA-MSS in 2008, Andalucia-Cajasur in 2009 and 2010.

    "We signed him because we felt he'd fit well into our team and that's the case", Savio explained. "He's a rider able to deliver some wins and to bring points for the Italian championship by teams, which is more important for us than any of the different classifications put...

  • Leopard Trek to ride on in Giro d'Italia

    Wouter Weylandt will be fondly remembered by the entire peloton
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 7:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Fourth stage to begin with a minute's silence

    Leopard Trek, the team of Wouter Weylandt will continue its presence in the Giro d'Italia, following the Belgian's tragic death as a result of a crash during Monday's third stage.

    "We will start Tuesday out of respect for the family Weylandt and also to share our grief with the world of cycling," Nygaard told reporters. "The boys were totally defeated. If there is anyone who did not want to continue, we accept that."

    The 26-year-old fell on the descent of the Passo del Bocco and was treated at the scene before being airlifted to hospital where doctors were unable to revive him.

    Today's fourth stage from Genova Quarto dei Mille to Livorno will be preceded by a minute's silence in honour of Weylandt.