Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt has died after crashing on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia today, his Leopard Trek team have confirmed.
The 26-year-old rider fell with 25 kilometres remaining and was unconscious with blood coming from his mouth and nose before medics gave him a cardiac massage at the scene.
He was later airlifted to hospital but was pronounced dead before further treatment could be administered.
Leopard Trek spokesman Tim Vanderjeugd told Press Association Sport: "I can confirm the death of Wouter Weylandt.
"He was taken to hospital but had already died at the scene."
Giro race doctor Professor Giovanni Tredici told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper: "Weylandt was the victim of a fall and we are still trying to reconstruct the dynamics of what happened.
"We tried immediately but he was already unconscious, his condition was already compromised.
"We tried for 40 minutes to resuscitate him but there was nothing we could do."
A further statement from Leopard Trek general manager Brian Nygaard read: "Today, our team-mate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia.
"The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter.
"This is a difficult day for cycling and for our team, and we should all seek support and strength in the people close to us."
The podium celebration at the end of the race was cancelled by organisers.
Weylandt won stage three of the same race last year, and also stage 17 of the 2008 Vuelta a Espana.
Tributes were quick to emerge from other riders.
Britain's Mark Cavendish said on Twitter: "Things like this shouldn't happen.
"Absolutely sick to the stomach. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt."
Australian Robbie McEwan simply said he was "devastated".