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Organisers of the Tour of Poland have neutralised Tuesday’s scheduled fourth stage following the death of Belgian rider Bjorg Lambrecht. 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.
“We are all incredibly shaken by this tragedy. Words fail to describe the emotions that we’re all feeling. I share the pain with Bjorg’s family, his team and all members of the cycling community. At the same time I reiterate our full support. Bjorg Lambrecht will forever remain in our memories as an exceptional cyclist and a great man” said Czeslaw Lang, Race Director on the race’s website.
All the associated events, including the Kinder+Sport Mini Tour de Pologne that had been planned for the day will be cancelled in commemoration.
The 22-year-old died after colliding with a concrete structure around 30 kilometres into the third stage on Monday following rain.
He was resuscitated on the spot, then taken in a critical condition to a hospital in the southern city of Rybnik, where he died on the operating table.
Lambrecht won the Under 23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and finished second in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2017 behind this year’s Tour de France winner Egan Bernal before turning professional last year with Lotto Soudal.
This year he placed 12th at the Criterium du Dauphine, winning the best young rider category, fourth in La Fleche Wallonne and sixth at the Amstel Gold.
Lambrecht’s death brought a flurry of tributes across social media from all corners of the cycling world.
Such an incredibly sad day here in Poland and across the cycling world.
To the family, friends and teammates of @bjorg_lambrecht, all our thoughts and sympathies are with you.
Rest In Peace Bjorg. May your star continue to shine as brightly as it did in cycling. pic.twitter.com/DvvcIPIaDt
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) August 5, 2019
Very saddened to hear about Bjorg Lambrecht today. He was talented but more importantly a nice person. He will be missed by many
— Daryl Impey (@darylimpey) August 5, 2019
Sometimes it is difficult to write – I’m deeply shocked by the news that reached me after the finish of the third stage of @Tour_de_Pologne. My deepest condolences go to the family, the friends and the team @Lotto_Soudal of Bjorg Lambrecht. Very sad day for cycling#dege #dgnklb pic.twitter.com/Q9XYhusyjB
— John Degenkolb (@johndegenkolb) August 5, 2019
— Dylan Teuns (@dylan_teuns) August 5, 2019
No words for such a tragedy … RIP @BjorgLambrecht My condoleances to his family ,friends and to all Lotto Soudal team.
— Steven de jongh (@stevendejongh) August 5, 2019
— kristof ramon (@kristoframon) August 5, 2019
Profundamente apenado por la pérdida de Bjorg Lambrecht, un ciclista que había demostrado mucho en muy pocos años. Mi más sentido pésame a familiares, amigos y equipo @Lotto_Soudal. DEP. https://t.co/RSim3wbuSM
— alejandro valverde (@alejanvalverde) August 5, 2019
And perhaps the most moving:
Translated: “Bjorg, do you remember 2 weeks ago? I had all the trouble in the world to follow the pace of the group during training. It was physically and mentally difficult for me. You turned around and came back to me, you said, “we’ll do this together!” It was a pleasure to be your teammate for 2 years. I cherish all beautiful moments! It goes well with you Bjorg!