Cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies at the Paris-Roubaix race

Cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies at the Paris-Roubaix race

Cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies at the Paris-Roubaix race

Organizers said in a medical statement that he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest.

Goolaerts, who was in his fourth season with Veranda's Willems-Crelan, spent 2013 and 2014 with them at the continental level, and returned in 2017 after a season as a trainee with Belgian World Tour team Lotto-Soudal.

Sagan became the first defending world champion to win the one-day classic along cobbled streets since Frenchman Bernard Hinault 37 years ago. He was quickly attended by a medical team and appeared to receive CPR.

David Lappartient, president of the Union Cycliste Internationale, expressed the organisation's sadness at the tragic news. "We share their huge sadness".

The three time World Champion attacked a group of favourites with 53km remaining.

Team Sky said in a statement: "Everyone at Team Sky is heartbroken by the loss of Michael Goolaerts".

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"I'm exhausted following this race", Sagan, the first rider as Frenchman Bernard Hinault to triumph here as a world champion, said.

The 257-kilometre race is also known as the "Hell of the North" because of its treacherous profile including 54.5 kilometres of cobblestones spread out over 29 sectors.

There have been numerous deaths among professional cyclists while competing in recent years, including others by cardiac arrest.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a Belgian rider during Sunday's Paris-Roubaix classic. Two Belgians died in other races in 2016; American Chad Young died past year in a New Mexico race, and a French racer died months later.

Belgian Wouter Weylandt, a stage victor at the Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia, died instantly when he hit a guard rail in the third stage at the 2011 Giro.

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