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by Mark Zalewski
July 31, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kristoff wins Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic; Rivera adds another win at Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic; Kwiatkowski sprints to win at Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian; Modolo sprints to win in Poland as van Poppel moves into lead; Sagan wins opening stage in Poland; Tragedy strikes during Transcontinental; Niewiadoma to join Canyon-SRAM in 2018; Tosatto joins Team Sky as sport director; Evans takes Subaru National Road Series lead; Amateur masters racer caught with motor in bike; Video: Morocco – Riding in the Atlas Mountains; Video: 2321 Bidons.
Tragedy has struck in the fifth running of the Transcontinental ultra-endurance race, with organisers reporting the death of competitor Frank Simons in a traffic collision during the early stages of the event, which departed from Belgium. According to Simons’ tracker he had covered 82 kilometres from the start of the event in Geraardsbergen, Belgium when the tragedy took place. The fatal collision occurred at approximately 3am on Saturday morning at Vergnies, close to the French border. Belgian newspapers are reporting that this was a hit and run and police are looking for the driver.
The fifth edition of the self-supported race across Europe was the first being run without its founder and organiser, Mike Hall, who died on the roads of Australia in March while competing in an ultra-endurance race. It’s been an incredibly difficult year for this community of self-supported racers as they first lost Hall at the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, then — after years of being run without fatalities — Eric Fishbein died after being struck during the Trans Am and now Simons at the Transcontinental.
“Frank Simons’ death in the early hours of this race is a tragedy that has affected the cycling community deeply, and will continue to affect everyone close to the Transcontinental for a long time to come,” said the organisers of the Transcontinental Race in a Facebook post.
“The TCRNo5 team have been working today to verify the information and to contact Frank’s appointed next of kin. Our next priority was to communicate with our riders, all of whom will be deeply affected by this shocking news,” added the organisers.
The race will be continuing for those competitors that still want to go on.
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