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by Shane Stokes
October 21, 2017
Fernando Gaviria doubles up at the Tour of Guangxi, extends overall lead; Welsford wins again in Gippsland, Moran best in women’s race; Broeckx continuing to amaze in recovery from brain injury; Doctor under investigation in Sky scandal resigns amid talk of poor health; Young French rider killed in accident at Tour of New Caledonia; Bardiani-CSF team may escape suspension despite a third rider testing positive; UCI President: One-day La Course is ‘not enough’; Simon Yates on 2018 Tour route: ‘I would prefer the climbs to arrive earlier’; Victoria sets up Office for Women in Sport, cyclist Bridie O’Donnell to head; Video: Taiwan KOM Challenge from the view of Cadel Evans; Video: Contador gets warm welcome from fans in Japan
French cycling is mounrning the tragic loss of 20-year-old Mathieu Riebel, who died in a crash in the Air France Tour of New Caledonia. According to L’Equipe, preliminary reports from the race stated that he struck an oncoming ambulance and was killed.
He was descending the Col de la Pirogue near Noumea while working hard to help his Shell Pacific teammate Erwan Brenterch.
“Mathieu did his best to bring his leader back into the peloton that had moved ahead as a result of mechanical trouble,” said Gérard Salaun, president of the regional cycling committee of New Caledonia. “It was in the high-speed descent of the climb that the collision with a vehicle occurred.” He said that everyone at the race was in shock at the news.
Brenterch suffered a leg fracture in the crash and was taken to hospital. The final stage of the race had been due to take place on Saturday, but instead this will be a processional ride commemorating Riebel. “It’s awful, a kid of 20 years … He asked me yesterday to extend his stay in Caledonia,” said Salaun. “Tomorrow, the pelton will go to Mont-Dore (in the outskirts of Noumea) without racing to pay tribute to Mathieu. He was so happy to be here.”
New Caledonia is a French territory in the South Pacific. The government there has expressed ‘deep sadness’ about the loss of Riebel.