Posted by: mdegeorge | May 10, 2011

The cycling world takes to Twitter to mourn Wouter Weylandt

Perhaps the most amazing quality of the European cycling community, aside from its extreme fraternity in the face of a daunting sport that pushes them to the edge of what humans are capable of, is the extent to which they’re willing to share their lives online via Twitter. Across many languages and nations, it’s a way for fans to bring their heroes into their homes.

It’s a great thing when it leads to events like 10,000 fans showing up thanks to a tweet that says Lance Armstrong wants to go on a training ride. But days like today, it also provides a window into the extreme sadness and sincere shock leveling an echelon of professional athletes whose American contemporaries fans could never get near.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

The cycling brotherhood that suffered such a devastating loss today with the death of Wouter Weylandt took to that medium today to send its sincere condolences to their fallen comrade.

Here are a few entries:

Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish): Things like this shouldn’t happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt.

(Cavendish also somewhat morbidly tweeted the night before, “my prediction for the final kilometers today……….fucking carnage.”

Johan Bryneel (@JohanBruyneel): Such a sad day for our sport. RIP Wouter Weylandt. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I’m shocked.

Bruyneel also further elaborated on his grief with a blog post on his website.

Janez Brajkovic (@janibrajkovic): Can’t stop thinking about Wouter. So sad, this should never had happened. R.I.P

Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney): Say it ain’t so… Wouter, you were kind and gracious to me every day at Tour of Oman. You will be very dearly missed.

Levi Leipheimer (@LeviLeipheimer): Very sad to see the news of Wouter Weylandt this morning, don’t know what to say? Can’t imagine what his friends & family are going through

Chris Horner (@hornerakg): Sad to hear about Wouter Weylandt – RIP.

Robbie McEwen (@mcewenrobbie): Devastated. Wouter Weylandt

Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong): Just back from a run and got the news of Wouter Weylandt’s death today in the Giro. I’m shocked and saddened. May he rest in peace.

Team Leopard Trek (@leopardtrek): We lost a great team mate and a true friend today. Our thoughts are with Wouter’s family and friends.

Fabian Cancellara (@f_cancellara): Black day….i feel really sad what happen with wouter weylandt. My condoloence to his wife and family. His wife is even pregnant..

Daniele Bennati (@Benna80): Il mio pensiero va ai familiari di Wouter che più di chiunque altro sono nel dolore più totale: e’ vero la Vita vi ha tolto tanto TROPPO…ma non Tutto! il bambino che An Sophie porta in grembo, sia la vostra forza x riuscire a guardare ancora al futuro con speranza

(Loosely translated as “My thoughts go to the famiy of Wouter who more than anyone else are in the most pain. It is true that the life that has been taken is very great, but it is not everything! The baby boy that Sophie is carrying will be your strength “X” to succeed to look still at the future with hope.”)

Ivan Basso (@ivanbasso): i’ts incredibile how much destiny could be tragic.my condolences and a hug to family and friends. rest in peace, Wouter

Christian Vande Velde (@ChristianVDV): Rest in peace, Wouter. And to his family, friends and teammates, I am deeply sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. (VandeVelde also apologized for an earlier tweet about teammate David Millar taking the Maglia Rosa, “When I first Tweeted about Millar I had no idea (of the severity of the crash), and I sincerely apologize. Sport has no worth today.”

Bradley Wiggins (@bradwiggins): Days like this put this great sport we love into perspective, Wouter rest in peace now mate, thoughts are now with the family and freinds!

Tom Danielson (@tomdanielson): My thoughts and prayers are with Wouter Weylandt.

Phil Liggett (@PhilLiggett): So very sad. RIP Wouter. The peloton will be a bleaker place without you.

Michael Rogers (@mickrogers): Shocking news about Wouter Weylandt… Unbelievable…

Robbie Hunter (@RobbieHunter): Moments like these are so fucked!! Thought and prayers to his family! Makes u realize how we risk our lives some times a bit to much!

Mark Renshaw (@Mark_Renshaw): Shocking to hear the news after the stage. Nobody wants this in cycling. Thoughts go out to his family and.friends. RIP Wouter Weylandt

Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters): Peace be with you, Wouter.

Craig Lewis (@craiglewis85): Another one of those days that you never want to relive.

Steven Cozza (@STEVENCOZZA): RIP Wouter Weylandt. You will be greatly missed on and off the bike.

Alberto Contador (@albertocontador): Today the sport is in mourning.Unable to explain my feelings.My condolences to his family and friends.Wouter RIP

Greg Henderson (@Greghenderson1): Such a sad sad day. RIP Woulter. Thoughts are with family. Speechless.

Allan Davis (@allandavis27): Just got home from 6hrs 30min training to the the deverstating news of my old team mate Wouter Weylantd, P.I.P mate.

Richie Porte (@richie_porte): Today really puts everything in perspective, such a tragedy. RIP Wouter and thoughts with his family, friends and team mates.

Andy Schleck (@andy_schleck): we all shocked, a day of sad tears in sharing the terrible loss of Wouter Rest in Peace my Friend our Friend … there are no words to can describe our feeling we lost a good friend and a great teammate all our condolences goes to his Family and friends.

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