Two days ago, pro-cyclist Wouter Weylandt from Belgium, age 26, died on a descent just 12.4 miles from the finish line during the Giro D'Italia pro-cycling tour of Italy.
The sport of professional cycling yields danger each day as cyclists bike up to 244 kilometers (+) or 155 miles per day for up to three weeks straight, with perhaps a two or three day break the entire time.
The terrain cyclists cover ranges from steep ascents like Mt. Vesuvius to descents down mountains, where speeds can reach 50 (+) miles per hour, in addition to the hair pin turns cyclists navigate to 200 miles covered in a day in heat, rain, even snow; and when a rider falls the race proceeds at competitive speed with or with out the rider. Fortunately, most riders who fall hop back on their bike and continue with torn jerseys, a bleeding hip and sometimes a broken collar bone.
But two days ago, on stage 3 at the Giro D'Italia - a race that has taken place for 150 years in Italy-Wouter Weylandt passed away, leaving a reminder of not only how dangerous the sport of pro-cycling is, but of the pure passion these riders possess to ride both competitively and as a beautiful peloton of friendship and camaraderie that flows and navigates through treacherous terrain with each other as crutch and motivation. Yesterday, in stage 4, all cyclists participating in the Giro D'Italia dedicated the stage in a moving tribute to Wouter Weylandt, and in the spirit of camaraderie teammates and friends of Weylandt rode in front of the peloton.
Although Italy, France and Spain which host professional grand cycling tours are far away, you can still view the sport of cycling along with timeless architecture and landscapes of Europe and read about the passionate, complicated and technical sport of cycling.