Monday, 16 July, 2018

Cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies at the Paris-Roubaix race

After an exceptional run in the Belgian classics Niki Terpstra feels his chances are even better at Paris-Roubaix After an exceptional run in the Belgian classics Niki Terpstra feels his chances are even better at Paris-Roubaix
Tamara Craig | 12 April, 2018, 00:56

"I'm exhausted after this race but not as exhausted as in previous years when I didn't win it for some reasons", Sagan said.

Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts has died of cardiac arrest after collapsing while competing in the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic.

With 25 kilometres remaining, Silvan Dillier offered the only resistance to three-time world champion Sagan keeping the slipstream of the leader. "I have to say that I was not involved in any crash or puncture or any kind of mechanical this time, so I could save some energy for the finale".

The Slovakian attacked 54 kilometers from the finish and bridged alone to the day's breakaway and drove the group to the finish.

Team Sky said in a statement: "Everyone at Team Sky is heartbroken by the loss of Michael Goolaerts".

They later appealed for people to refrain from speculation as they wait for an update on his situation.

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Goolaerts had been evacuated by helicopter after crashing about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the finish. Inevitably, it was the former who took the sprint, adding this Paris-Roubaix victory to that of his 2016 Tour of Flanders win.

But the champion Slovak's thoughts post-race turned to Goolaerts. Goolaerts hadn't raced it before and crashed in the second of the course's 29 cobblestone sections, which make up about 20% of the course, while making a right-hand turn.

Just two years ago, another young Belgian rider, 22-year-old Daan Myngheer, died in hospital two days after suffering a heart attack on the Criterium International in Corsica.

The commissaire's report says that the riders took the refuelling from team staff on foot, and so Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe and Dillier's Ag2r La Mondiale teams have also been fined 1000 CHF each.

The AP explains the Paris-Roubaix race's difficulty by noting that almost half the riders didn't even finish in 2017. In 2017, almost half of the riders did not make it to the finish in the Roubaix Velodrome.

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