Stage 4 was an especially moving day at the Giro. All the talk of race radio bans, break away leagues, and UCI approved equipment became insignificant. The images of the last three kilometers – the peloton riding together – was an amazing display of unity within the cycling community. Cycling fans around the world couldn’t help but be choked up by the sight of Garmin-Cervelo’s Tyler Farrar riding side by side with the Leopard-Trek team overcome with grief for the death of his friend Wouter Weylandt.
The day’s entire 216 kilometers of the Giro had been neutralized and it was agreed that Leopard-Trek would cross the finish line in Livorno together, in front of the peloton.
The theme of this Giro is celebrating 150 years of Italian unity. It was nice to see that for a day the peloton could also unite and show their respect for Wouter Weylandt.
Tomorrow the racing starts again in earnest as rivalries will be renewed. Garmin-Cervelo’s David Millar retains the pink jersey.
It is being reported that the Leopard-Trek squad will line up tomorrow and continue as that is what their fallen teammate would have wanted.
Greenville’s Chris Butler and Craig Lewis try to put into words how it felt to be a part of the professional peloton dealing with the death of one of their own.
Butler: “A gorgeous day and beautiful route through Tuscany could not come close to lifting the mood of the peloton. Rolling in after a neutralized stage on the Italian coastline at sunset, I’m sure everyone in the peloton was thinking about yesterday’s tragedy and how every day given to us should be counted as a blessing.”
Craig Lewis: “Just a sad day all around. From start to finish.”