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Leopard-Trek mourns Weylandt; no word on if they will continue

2011 Giro d'Italia stage 3. Leopard-Trek reacts to Wouter Weylandt's death
A Leopard-Trek rider enters the team hotel after Monday's stage. Photo: Agence France Presse

RAPALLO, Italy (VN) — There was no immediate word from Leopard-Trek on whether the team would continue in the Giro d’Italia following the tragic death of Belgian rider in Monday’s third stage.

A few riders reacted to journalists questions at the finish line, but quickly retreated inside the Leopard-Trek team bus parked in Rapallo near the finish line of the stage.

Riders gathered inside the team bus to mourn the loss of their teammate and friend in private. None of the team officials at the race spoke to gathering journalists.

Team manager Brian Nygaard released this communiqué upon hearing the tragic news:

“Today, our teammate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the third stage of the Giro d’Italia. 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. 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.”

The team also Tweeted this message: “We lost a great team mate and a true friend today. Our thoughts are with Wouter’s family and friends.”

The Quick Step team, Weylandt’s home for many season, also issued a statement.

“On behalf of the entire Quick-Step Cycling team our hearts go out to Wouter’s family, friends and the colleagues of Team Leopard, in this sad, sad time.

“For all of us, Wouter was a friend before he was a colleague. We remember him as an honest man, always available with a smile on his face and forever generous towards the next guy.

“Wouter leaves us with a terrible sense of loss and unbearable grief. We want to remember him with arms held high, crazy with joy after a victory, like the one at Middelburg last year. This is the image of him that all of us will carry in our hearts forever.”

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