Flemish cyclist dies following crash at Paris-Roubaix


Michael Goolaerts of team Véranda’s Willems-Crelan has died from an apparent cardiac arrest suffered during the Paris-Roubaix race yesterday

Autopsy to follow

Flemish pro cyclist Michael Goolaerts had died following a crash during the Paris-Roubaix road race yesterday. The cause of death has been determined as cardiac arrest.

Goolaerts (pictured), who pedalled for Véranda’s Willems-Crelan-Charles, fell on the second set of cobbles at the 109km mark of the 257km race. He was revived by paramedics at the scene before being flown to hospital in Lille. His team announced his death on social media last night.

“It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts,” said the team. “He passed away Sunday evening at 22.40 in Lille hospital in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts.”

It is unclear is Goolaerts, 23, suffered the problems with his heart before or after the crash, but the public prosecutor in Cambrai said that an autopsy would be carried out.

Goolaerts joined Véranda’s Willems-Crelan-Charles, based in Mechelen, last year following his first pro stint with Lotto-Soudal. The Lier-born rider had taken part in several of Flanders’ road races, including Dwars door West-Vlaanderen, where he placed ninth, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and the Tour of Flanders.