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Wouter Weylandt smiles for the cameras
Peloton continues to remember and honour fallen rider
Weylandt died on Monday as the result of a crash in the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. The peloton saluted him with a tribute stage the next day. His team has opened a fund to accept donations for his family.
Weylandt's former teammate Stijn Devolder, now with Vacansoleil-DCM, is riding the Tour of Picardy starting today, but said that “I would rather have stayed home." He told Het Laatste Nieuws, “My head is not into racing. I am with Wouter in my thoughts.
Devolder is racing in France because he is committed to doing so for his team. “Actually I'd rather have stayed home. The day after his death I couldn't ride at all. I was just completely out of it.”
The two were teammates at Quick Step from 2008 to 2010 and often roomed together on the road. “Now I am still with Wouter and I think of him when I go to sleep. Talking does help, including training on Wednesday with teammate Gorik Gardeyn.”
Had he been in the Giro, he may not have ridden in the tribute stage, Devolder admitted. “It strikes me very hard now to pin on a racing number. I would never have been able to ride the tribute held to him in the Giro the day after his death.”
In a further tribute to the fallen rider, new Giro leader Pieter Weening of Rabobank has given his first maglia rosa to Weylandt's family. “This victory also belongs a little to Weylandt and his family,” Weening said Wednesday after winning the fifth stage and taking over the race lead, according to De Telegraaf.