The fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia, 216km from Genova to Livorno, became a homage to Wouter Weylandt, the Belgian rider who found death yesterday in the descent of the Passo del Bocco.
The 23 squads present in the Corsa Rosa stood an emotive minute’s silence in the start at Quarto dei Mille and, from that point and for almost six hours -10k each team-, the relays were taken in order by a peloton who left Weylandt’s Leopard Trek squad cross the finish line on front as a show of respect for their teammate tragically passing away. “It has been a very difficult day,” commented Chilean Carlos Oyarzun after coming into the finish. “Mentally, the hardest in my career. It’s not easy to do 230 kilometers -counting the neutral zone and the ride to the buses- after what happened yesterday. Specially, the start was really difficult. The minute of silence was very emotive and you could see lots of riders crying, because it’s something that’s really close to you. It’s not easy to overcome the death of a cyclist you were competing with. I saw Weylandt lying on the road yesterday and his image went attached to me. I barely got to sleep and you think of it a lot. Inevitably, all people were talking about the same into the bunch. I was chatting with the South American riders from other teams because, maybe due to our character, we’re all more sensitive and our families were really affected.”
The race goes on with its normal working tomorrow as the fifth stage will be covered over a 191km route from Piombino to Orvieto, with its final part over the sterrato unpaved roads in Tuscany.