Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Belgian cyclist Myngheer dies

AFP, PARIS

Cyclist Daan Myngheer died on Monday after suffering a heart attack during a race, in a second tragedy for Belgian cycling after Antoine Demoitie was killed in an accident a day earlier.

Myngheer, 22, the 2011 Belgian junior champion who only turned professional last year, had the heart attack on Saturday after pulling up in the first stage of the Criterium International in Corsica, Italy.

He passed away at 7:08pm on Monday in a hospital in d’Ajaccio, on the island’s west, surrounded by his family and his partner, Emely, his team Roubaix Lille Metropole said.

“He lost his last race after fighting like a champion,” the team said in a statement on its Facebook page. “Rest in peace champion.”

His death is another hammer blow to Belgian cycling after 25-year-old Demoitie was killed in a collision with a motorbike during the Gent-Wevelgem race on Sunday.

Myngheer, who would have turned 23 on April 13, pulled up in difficulty about 30km from the line in the first stage of the race at Porto-Vecchio on Saturday.

He suffered the heart attack while in an ambulance, before being transferred by helicopter to hospital, where he was put on artificial respiration and fell into a coma.

L’Equipe said the young racer also had trouble during an amateur race in 2014, but doctors found no problems with his heart when they examined him immediately afterward. He was also required to take new medical tests that winter, in France and Belgium, to keep his license.

Myngheer turned professional last year with the Verandas Willems team, before joining third-division Roubaix Lille Metropole this season.

His death comes less than 48 hours after the loss of Demoitie, who died after being hit by a motorcycle in northern France.

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