Weylandt tragedy mars Giro d’Italia

GIRO D’ITALIA officials have defended safety measures after Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt died following a crash in the race’s third stage yesterday.

The 26-year-old (right), who was due to become a father in September, fell at high speed during a descent and could not be resuscitated despite almost immediate treatment.

An autopsy will reveal more details but Dr Giovanni Tredici said Weylandt had died from a fracture to the front of his skull. It is the fourth fatality in the Giro’s history and race director Angelo Zomegnan said: “Since the crash, we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure the security measures already in place are being checked and reinforced by specialist teams.”

Britain’s Mark Cavendish, who is also taking part, wrote on Twitter: “Things like this shouldn’t happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt.”