Remembering Wouter Weylandt
Today marks the fourth anniversary of the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt during the 2011 Giro d’Italia, with many riders and former team staff remembering him visa social media.
The Belgian rider crashed on the descent of the Passo del Bocco and suffered fatal injuries during stage three of the 2011 Giro d’Italia. The following day the peloton paid tribute to him on the stage to Livorno, with his Leopard Trek teammates and close friend Tyler Farrar leading the peloton across the finish line. Today Weylandt’s widow and family are expected to visit the scene of the accident in a private commemoration.
Several banners along the route of the team time trial to San Remo paid tribute to Weylandt. Following Weylandt death, the Giro d’Italia has withdrawn race number 108 in memory of the Belgian rider.
Lampre-Merida off first in the team time trial
The Giro d’Italia kicks off with a 17.6km team time trial on the Riviera bike path between San Lorenzo al Mare and San Remo. The bike path runs along the former train track that hugs the coast overlooking the Mediterranean.
The Lampre-Merida team is first off at 15:10 local time, followed by Ag2r-La Mondiale, Androni Giocattoli and Astana.
Teams start at five-minute intervals. This is to avoid any problems with riders who may be dropped on the relatively narrow (6.5m) bike path.
The team time trial will create the first time differences in the overall classification, with Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo looking to gain a few seconds for their team leaders Richie Porte and Alberto Contador. Orica-GreenEdge are the favourites to win but will no doubt be challenged by world TTT champions BMC, Team Sky and Etixx-QuickStep.
BMC starts at 15:45, Team Sky and Etixx-Quickstep follows them at 15:50 and 15:55 respectively. Orica-GreenEdge start at 16:25, with Tinkoff-Saxo off at 16:45. Cannondale-Garmin starts at 16:50, with FDJ the last team to start at 16:55.
Teams are expected to cover the course at above 50km/h and so in a time close to 19 minutes. The time of each team will be taken on the fifth rider, with the first rider across the line of the winning team pulling on the first pink jersey of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Extreme weather protocol established for the Giro d’Italia
On the eve of the Giro d’Italia it was announced that by the UCI that riders (via the CPA riders’ association), teams ( via the AIGCP association) and race organisers (the AIOCC association) have agreed on the principles of an action plan in the event of extreme weather conditions during the race.
The 2014 Giro d’Italia was hit by snow and difficult conditions in the rain and riders have fought to safeguard their safety with clear rules if stages go ahead in bad weather.
This first extreme weather protocol agreement involves the compulsory convening of a meeting between the stakeholders (organisation including race doctor and chief of security, riders, teams, President of the Commissaires Panel) when extreme weather conditions are anticipated prior to the start of a stage.
This meeting can be convened at the request of any one of the named representatives. The extreme weather conditions that could lead to this meeting include: freezing rain, snow, strong winds, poor visibility and air pollution.
Depending on the type of condition that are encountered, the stage, the start, finish and key climbs could be altered, neutralised or even cancelled.
Julich joins the CN team for live coverage from the Giro d'Italia
Former professional rider Bobby Julich has joined the Cyclingnews team for this year's Giro d'Italia. The American will co-commentate during key stages of this year's race, starting with Saturday's TTT from San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo.
Cyclingnews will provide live coverage from the entire Giro, start to finish, for every stage and you can keep up on all the action at live.cyclingnews.com.
Follow the Giro with the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker App
You can keep up to date with all the action from the 2015 Giro d’Italia with the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker app. On the app you’ll find previews of each stage, interactive maps and a full start list with information on each of the riders all on your mobile or tablet.
Update to Pro and you’ll get live text commentary from Cyclingnews, live timings, full results and standings, brilliant photography and more.