Rider deaths overshadow weekend cycle races
Two local cyclists died in races this weekend, with Antoine Demoitie being hit by a motorcycle during Gent-Wevelgem and Daan Myngheer having a heart attack in France's Critérium International
CPA demands answers
Demoitie (pictured centre) was then hit by a motorbike while on the ground, before being transported to a hospital in Lille, where he succumbed to his injuries. Two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome paid tribute to Demoitie on social media, saying: “So sad to hear of the passing of Antoine Demoitie.” British road racer Mark Cavendish also tweeted, saying: “Such tragic news. RIP Antoine Demoitie.”
A statement from Gianni Bugno, the president of the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA), called for action to be taken to prevent another such incident from happening again. “The CPA and all the riders demand that immediate light be shed on the circumstances that caused the accident as well as on any of the responsible parties involved,” he said.
The death overshadowed the Gent-Wevelgem victory by world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia. Sagan, who finished runner-up at the E3 Harelbeke race last week, won ahead of Sep Vanmarcke and Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, with one-day classic specialist Fabian Cancellara in fourth place.
Flemish rider Daan Myngheer of team Roubaix Lille Métropole, meanwhile, experienced a heart attack during the Critérium International on Saturday. The 22-year-old Roeselare-born riderbecame ill after the morning stage of the race on Corsica and was beinig transported by ambulance to the hospital when he had a heart attack.
Emergency medical personnel were able to get his heart going, but he was in a coma in hospital for several hours before succcumbing. "This loss has hit us really hard," said team manager Daniel Verbrackel. "In a team as small as ours, you get very close to one another, like a family. Daan loved to ride, and he loved the sport. We will miss him."
Photo courtesy Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert
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