Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts dies of heart attack in Paris-Roubaix

Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts dies of heart attack in Paris-Roubaix
By Robert Hackwill
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The cyclist died at a hospital in Lille after crashing in Paris-Roubaix. He was 23.


Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts has died in hospital after suffering a heart attack during Sunday's Paris-Roubaix cycling classic, his team said in a statement. He was 23 years old. 

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts. He passed away on Sunday evening at 22.40 in Lille Hospital in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts," said his team, Veranda's Willems-Crelan, on Twitter.

"He died of cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail."

Goolaert was rushed to hospital after receiving CPR treatment on the side of the road after a crash. The rider was found unconscious by race doctors.

Tributes pour in for Goolaerts

International Cycling Union President tweeted: "On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale and the cycling family as a whole, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, team and friends of Michael Goolaerts, who left us too early today. We share their immense sadness."

Goolaert's team said there would be no further communication about the incident to give "his close ones time to deal with this terrible loss". 

The Paris-Roubaix classic was won by Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan.

Paris-Roubaix is one of the five Monument classics along with Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Lombardy.

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