Wed, Aug 07, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht dead after crash


Team Lotto-Soudal riders hold a minute of silence for Belgian teammate Bjorg Lambrecht at the start of the fourth stage of the Tour de Pologne in Jaworzno, Poland, yesterday after Lambrecht crashed into a concrete culvert in the previous state of the race and died of his injuries.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht died in a hospital on Monday at the age of 22 after crashing at the Tour de Pologne, his team announced.

“The biggest tragedy possible that could happen to the family, friends and teammates of Bjorg has happened... Rest in peace Bjorg,” Team Lotto-Soudal tweeted.

Polish news Web site Onet reported that Lambrecht collided with a concrete structure about 30km into the race after it suddenly began to rain.

He was resuscitated on the spot, then taken in a critical condition to a hospital in the southern city of Rybnik, where he died on the operating table, Onet said.

“It wasn’t a high-speed descent. It was a straight and wide road. He had a moment of hesitation, he left the asphalt and the tragedy occurred,” race director Czeslaw Lang said.

“The injuries were so serious that we called for a helicopter and an ambulance. He was transported to hospital. His heart started beating again, but he sadly died” during the operation, the Polish Press Agency quoted Lang as saying.

German Pascal Ackermann, who was handed the stage three victory after the win was taken from Fabio Jakobsen for an irregular sprint heading into the finish line, paid tribute to Lambrecht.

“Today, the result of the race doesn’t matter,” Ackermann said. “I was devastated to hear today’s tragic news, and I would like to personally send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bjorg Lambrecht and everyone at Lotto-Soudal.”

Alejandro Valverde, last year’s world road race champion, echoed Ackermann’s comments on Twitter.

“Deeply sorry for the loss of Bjorg Lambrecht, a cyclist who had demonstrated a lot in a few years,” the Spaniard said. “My deepest condolences to family, friends and team.”

Ackermann’s advantage is 12 seconds ahead of second-placed Fernando Gaviria after the 150.5km run between Chorzow and Zabrze.

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