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Belgian Bjorg Lambrecht died Monday following a crash during Stage 3 of the Tour of Poland. The second-year pro with Lotto-Soudal was 22 years old.
Lambrecht crashed near the town of Zory during heavy rainfall. He struck a concrete structure around 48 kilometers into the race after it began to rain. He was immediately treated by the race’s medical staff, and required emergency resuscitation.
“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,” said race director Czeslaw Lang, according to AFP.
Lambrecht was taken to a nearby hospital in Rybnik by ambulance, but according to Polish media, he died during surgery.
“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],” Lang said, quoted by PAP agency.
From its Twitter account, the Lotto-Soudal team confirmed his death, writing, “The biggest tragedy possible that could happen to the family, friends and teammates of Bjorg has happened… Rest in peace Bjorg.”
Lambrecht, who finished second at the 2018 U23 world road championship in Innsbruck, finished an impressive sixth at the Amstel Gold Race and fourth at the Flèche Wallonne in April. In June, he won the best young rider competition at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
At the 2017 Tour de l’Avenir, Lambrecht finished second overall behind Egan Bernal, the 22-year-old Colombian who won the Tour de France last month.
The Tour of Poland announced later Monday that Tuesday’s fourth stage of the race would be neutralized.
“The race organizers, the jury and the teams have made a decision to neutralize the fourth stage of the Tour de Pologne to pay our respects to Bjorg,” an official statement read. “The stage route has been reduced to 133.7 km and the final laps have been cut to 1. Any further decisions regarding tomorrow’s stage will be communicated in agreement with Lotto-Soudal. All the associated events, including the Kinder+Sport Mini Tour de Pologne that had been planned for the day will be cancelled in commemoration.”
CyclingTips extends its sincere condolences to Lambrecht’s family, friends, and teammates.