Amidst the excitement and tension ahead of the biggest stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, there was time to pause and reflect for the riders and attending fans. Before the flag dropped at 10:25, the peloton took time for a minute’s silence in honour of those that had been killed in Monday night's bombing in Manchester, former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden and triathlete Julia Viellehner, who both died on Monday.
Just after 10:30 pm on Monday night, a suicide bomber attacked the Manchester Arena as people were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. As many as 22 people were killed in the bombing - the worst terrorist attack on the UK since the bombings on the London underground in 2005 - while 59 people have been left injured. It comes two months after an attack on London where a terrorist drove a car into pedestrians outside the houses of parliament in Westminster.
Both Hayden and Viellehner succumbed to their injuries after being hit by vehicles while out training on their bikes. Hayden, who won the MotoGP championship in 2006, had been training along the Rimini coastline last Wednesday when he collided with a car. The 35-year-old was taken to the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, where he was described as suffering "serious cerebral damage."
Hours before Hayden passed away, Viellehner died in the same hospital in Cesena. The German triathlete was riding in the Apennines last Monday when she was hit by a lorry. She was put into an induced coma and doctors amputated both of her legs in an attempt to save her life. Viellehner turned professional in 2016 after years racing duathlon, triathlon and various running disciplines.
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