I flew to Belgium on Tuesday with Joe V to attend Wouter Weylandt's funeral. I never met Wouter, but everyone associated with the LEOPARD TREK team is a part of a family. The team does such an awesome job of representing Trek around the world that I wanted to be there and pay my respects and represent everyone from the Trek family.
The plane arrived an hour late getting into Brussels, so I changed in the men's room at the airport and we drove to Ghent. We parked and walked to the church. The site was amazing. A beautiful old European church with what must have been a couple of thousand people outside. We went in and paid our respects to the family and took our seats for the service. Near the alter, they had a slide show and I love pictures, so I checked out all the photos. I can tell you that Wouter had a lot of friends, and that Wouter lived a very full life.
After the funeral, Joe and I joined a reception for close friends and the team. I met Wouter's father and we had a good conversation. Fabian Cancellara and Flavio, the team owner, came over and we talked with Wouter's father about what we could do for the family. I let him know that Trek was there to help. Flavio went through a list of things that he was doing for the family. Wouter's father then looked at Flavio and said "I only have one request right now. Do you think it would be possible where the pictures of the riders are on the bus, that the picture of Wouter could stay on the team bus? He really loved being part of LEOPARD TREK." Before he finished Fabian, in a very clear Swiss way, looked at Wouter's father and said "He stays on the bus."
Photo by LEOPARD TREK