Goolaerts dies after crash at Paris-Roubaix cycling race


Tributes have been paid to Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts, who died on Sunday after crashing in Paris-Roubaix.

Goolaerts was in his fourth year with the Veranda's Willems-Crelan team.

He suffered cardiac arrest and was airlifted to hospital in Lille but died on Sunday night. For now there will be no further communication as we want to give his close ones time to deal with this awful loss.

Cycling - Tour de France biking race - The 162.5 km (101 miles) Period 1-1 by Carcassone into Montpellier, France - 13/07/2016 - Tinkoff club riders Peter Sagan of Slovakia wins the end.

No images of the incident were available but TV footage of the race showed Goolaerts lying unresponsive on the side of the road as the peloton passed him. "We share their vast sadness", Mr Lappartient wrote on Twitter.

The three time World Champion attacked a group of favourites with 53km remaining.

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Sagan thus became the first rider since Bernard Hinault in 1981 to win the Queen of the Classics in the rainbow jersey of a world champion.

Team Sky said in a statement: "Everyone at Team Sky is heartbroken by the loss of Michael Goolaerts". The race is known as "The Hell of the North" for its hard surface and conditions.

Two years ago, Belgian cyclist Daan Myngheer, died at the age of 22, two days after having a heart attack on the Criterium International in Corsica.

French judicial officials launched an investigation Monday into the death of Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts during the Paris-Roubaix cycling race.

Belgian Wouter Weylandt, a stage victor at the Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia, died instantly when he hit a guard rail in the third stage at the 2011 Giro.