Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt dies after crash
Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt celebrates after winning the third stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2010.
May 9th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt dies after crash

Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt, 26, died in a crash during a downhill portion of the Giro d'Italia event, according to, a cycling site that was broadcasting the competition.

Weylandt's death marks the first time in 16 years a cyclist has died during a major event. Italian rider Fabio Casartelli died in the 1995 Tour de France. Three other cyclists have died during the Giro event since it began.

When he crash, Weylandt was going downhill, just about 12 miles from the finish, according to, during the third stage of the 21-stage, 107-mile event. Weylandt won the same stage in last year's race.

After Monday's crash, announcers said Weylandt was laying unconscious on the pavement. He was unresponsive on the course, even after a medical team cut his helmet to try to perform CPR, according to cycling site VeloNation.

The site said Weylandt was flown to a nearby hospital, but doctors couldn't do anything. The BBC reported dcotors tried for 40 minutes to revive him.

"Things like this shouldn't happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach," British cyclist Mark Cavendish wrote on Twitter, as he immediately reacted to the news. "My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt."

Weylandt joined the Leopard Trek team earlier this year.

"The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter," according to a statement from his team published by VeloNation.

"This is a difficult day for cycling and for our team, and we should all seek support and strength in the people close to us," it concluded.

"We lost a great team mate and a true friend today," the team 's Twitter page said. "Our thoughts are with Wouter's family and friends."

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Filed under: Belgium • Cycling • Italy • Sports
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Anni

    RIP Wouter. You will be missed. Such a tragedy, so young and talented.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    So what, he's wearing tights.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      So do football players. They just engage in a much less dangerous and boring sport.

      May 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Now you know why road bike racing in not big in this country. I'm referring to the comments, complete nonsense.

    May 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      if even the tv has to take a break every 10 mins, then how do you expect the viewers to have any fitness (/selfrespect) at all? saddened at the lack of respect one of the truly brave sportsmen gets here. again, RIP my friend :(....

      May 10, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vernelle Cheeseman

    Such a tragedy!!! I'm sickened by this loss. Deepest respect and condolences to the family. God bless each of you. You will be in my family's prayers.

    May 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    My sympathy to the family of this young man. I'm so sorry.

    May 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mrs. Frankwalter

    The Giro is a difficult race. Sometimes the mountains can be treacherous. However, the area he crashed isn't a mountainous area, moderate at best. Then again, the riders are not on the autostrade and if you've ever driven in Italy you know how bad the roads actually re.

    May 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dan smith

    Westboro Baptist Church? Now there's some inbred religious nut jobs for sure.

    May 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cycling truth

    The full story, accurately can be found at velonewsdotcom

    May 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thomas

    this is one for the trolls (the pathetic ones that are proud of themselves – (and should be!!!!) – ): congratulations!!! really!! the day I accomplish something as impressive (other than hitting some keys in my momma's attic) as you have -one by one-, I'd be SO thankful if anybody would write an article about me. got it?
    what's that? a window? look outside of it? why? you know why.

    May 10, 2011 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. jeckbenny

    Wouter Weylandt Dead In Cycle Crash Full Video On

    May 10, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tim

    Grammar Tim (me) is no the same as mean Tim (tights guy). I don't want to see cyclists get hurt.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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