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by Shane Stokes
May 4, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Räim wins opening stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Six years after her brother Wouter’s passing, Elke Weylandt shares views on Giro’s descending competition; Giro d’Italia abandons controversial descending competition; Kelly: Quintana is the man to beat for Giro, and could double up at the Tour; Nibali: ‘It’s not easy to be on the highest step of the podium’; Dumoulin: ‘Winning the Giro is normally out of reach’; Pozzovivo talks up difficulty of Giro d’Italia; In ‘best shape’ for years, Hansen ready for 17th consecutive Grand Tour; Greipel eyeing Maglia Rosa, but also says Classics could delay top sprint form; Rumsas’ son passed away 24 hours after being released from hospital; McLaren says he’s been threatened over doping report; Cyclist dies after hitting parked car in Melbourne; Video: A sort of homecoming – Adam Blythe at #TDY2017; Video: 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Ostend preview; Video: 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic preview
Almost exactly six years after losing her brother Wouter in a crash in the Giro d’Italia, Elke Weylandt has welcomed the news that the organisers have abandoned plans for a best descender competition in the race. The 26 year old was killed in a tragic accident on May 9 2011, crashing on the descent of the Passo del Bocco close to the finish of stage three of the Giro d’Italia. He was the fourth rider in the history of the race to lose his life.
Weylandt was dismayed at plans unveiled this week to introduce the new contest, which would have seen riders timed on downhill sectors during ten different stages and given cash prizes on each day and also for an overall descender classification.
However, after voiced opposition from the cycling world plus resistance from the UCI, race director Mauro Vegni said on Wednesday that the competition would not now take place.
Speaking to CyclingTips afterwards, Weylandt said that the move was the correct one. “I think it is the only right decision,” she said. “Almost the whole peloton was against it. Not only the riders, but also the staff around them. A lot of DS’s reacted that they were against it, that they thought it was a silly idea and that it was crazy to put more risks on the dangerous parts of cycling. Saying that it doesn’t need this extra push.”
Click through to read the full interview on CyclingTips.