Young cyclist dies after crash in Tour de Pologne

Summary

Flemish rider Bjorg Lambrecht succumbed to internal injuries after a tragic crash during Poland’s famous road race

‘Hard and unfair’

Flemish cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht (pictured) has died after crashing during the Tour de Pologne in Poland. The 22-year-old cyclist of Aalter, East Flanders, was revived at the scene of yesterday’s crash but died later in hospital.

For reasons that are as yet unclear, Lambrecht fell into a canal during the third stage of the eight-stage road cycle race, where he hit a concrete culvert. He was air-lifted to hospital, where he later succumbed to internal injuries.

“He had serious injuries to his head, chest and abdominal cavity,” said Ryszard Wisniewski, the race’s official physician. “These injuries caused both heart and respiratory arrest.”

The Ghent-born Lambrecht made his professional debut last year with Belgian team Lotto Soudal. He was considered a strong up-and-coming rider, with a talent for climbing in particular, and second place finishes in the UCI Road World Under-23 championships and the Tour des Fjords.

“I haven’t found the words yet because they don’t exist,” tweeted team manager Marc Sergeant yesterday evening about an hour after the announcement of Lambrecht’s death. “I am so confused about the loss of Bjorg Lambrecht, such pain for his family and friends and for us as a family at Lotto Soudal. Stay strong is easily said, but it’s so hard and unfair.”

Photo: Bjorg Lambrecht pictured last year at the Tour of Spain
©Yuzuru Sunada/BELGA

Flemish cycling

Flemish cyclists have played a dominant role in the history of European bicycle racing. With the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), the region also has a classic cycle race.
Flandriens - The legendary pioneers of the Flemish cycling tradition are called “Flandriens”. They include Roger De Vlaeminck, Eddy Planckaert, Johan Museeuw and Walter Godefroot.
Eddy Merckx - Having won 525 races in his career, Brusselaar Eddy Merckx, nicknamed “the Cannibal”, is considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
Trophy - The annual Flandrien Trophy honours the best Belgian cyclist of the past season. Professional cyclists choose and vote for the nominees.
5

number of times Merckx won the Tour de France

1 913

first Tour of Flanders

1 969

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