Mark Cavendish lost the leader's pink jersey at the third stage of the Giro d'Italia on Monday but the day was completely overshadowed as Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt was killed.
The rider fell at high speed during a descent about 20km from the finish of the stage and received emergency treatment from doctors before being pronounced dead.
Cavendish said on Twitter: ‘Things like this shouldn't happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt.’
Spaniard Angel Vicioso won the 173km ride after a five-man breakaway.
British rider David Millar was second and took the race lead from Cavendish.
The podium celebration at the end of the race was cancelled by organisers.
Weylandt was the first rider killed in a crash in one of cycling's three main tours since Italian rider Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.
As for Cavendish, he had to stop for saddle repairs, eventually getting a new bike, and then calmly made his way back up through the team cars and back to the peloton.