Tribute to Wouter Weylandt (#108), 1984-2011

Tribute to Wouter Weylandt (#108), 1984-2011

I’m sure many of you have heard the news regarding the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt of Leopard-Trek last week during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia, after he crashed during a mountain descent. The funeral was this week.

This horribly sad event has really given me pause, but also a deeper understanding and respect for the riders in the peloton, the risks they take racing, the relationships that exist within and between the teams, etc.

Particularly poignant was seeing Wouter’s close friend, Tyler Farrar of GARMIN, ride in with the Leopard team on the neutralized fourth stage the day after Weylandt was killed…that whole stage, and that finish…really quite moving and powerful. You can view it here:

http://www.steephill.tv/players/youtube3/?title=Stage+4+Highlights:+neutralized+for+Weylandt&dashboard=giro-d-italia&id=VkJw1s0vvek&yr=2011

As you may have heard, Weylandt leaves behind not only a grieving team, but an unborn child he was to have with his partner, Ann Sophie, due in September.

To help Weylandt’s family, Leopard Trek set up a foundation last week to help. In the true spirit of good will and the camaraderie of the peloton, we Shack fans would do well to be aware of this great cause and if so moved, take action in support of Weylandt’s family.

If you want to learn more about this young rider who passed much too soon, you can find a great tribute to him on “http://www.leopardtrek.lu/remembering-wouter“.

A good reminder of how close to home this tragedy is for Team Radioshack: it’s founder, Lance Armstrong, was close to a similar situation in 1995, when his then Motorola teammate, Fabio Casartelli, died from injuries suffered during a descent during the Tour de France.

Now more than fifteen years later, there’s an opportunity for cycling fans to rally in support of another fallen rider. If you think this is a good idea, following is information that can direct you to learn more and lend your support.

From the Leopard Trek Facebook page:
(https://www.facebook.com/notes/leopard-trek/donations-wouter-weylandt/161493960581968):

“Yesterday we lost a great person and true friend – In these hard times we especially want to think of those who were closest to Wouter: his family, [especially Ann Sophie and their unborn child (due to arrive in September)].

We have created a donation account (see below) to support them financially as much as we can. Everyone of you can donate to this account. All donations will go directly to Wouter’s family.

Bank: Dexia Banque International a Luxembourg
Bank Address: 69, route d’Esch, L-2953 Luxembourg
Account Name: LEOPARD SA ‘WOUTER WEYLANDT’
IBAN: LU93 0020 6100 0904 0500
BIC: BILLLULL
Recipient address: 1, rue Peternelchen, L-2370 Howald

PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VZEPVG5AK9WGG

Thanks a lot for your help.  -LEOPARD TREK.”

A couple of additional channels by which you can take action to lend your support are via: http://www.stomachofanger.com/108

Where they’ve raised more than $27,000 for donation to the foundation for Wouter’s family.

Or via http://www.roadid.com/Wouter/

Regardless of how you choose to respond, I hope you consider some action to give your support in this time of need. Thanks for reading, and for your consideration!

“Think less, live more.” -Wouter Weylandt

By Jeff Ludlum, staff writer