Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies during race

Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies during race

Goolaerts rode in support of cyclo-cross world champion Wout van Aert of Belgium.

The two riders then maintained a gap between themselves and a chase group, with Sagan winning the sprint against Dillier in the Roubaix velodrome to net a landmark victory.

Tributes have been paid to Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts, who died on Sunday after crashing in Paris-Roubaix.

The statement from Veranda's Willems-Crelan read: "It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts".

The AP explains the Paris-Roubaix race's difficulty by noting that almost half the riders didn't even finish in 2017.

He said: "All the thoughts and prayers of the @BORAhansgrohe team and myself are with Michael Goolaerts".

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.

The race was also marred by several crashes that ended the hopes of outsiders Sebastian Langeveld and Matteo Trentin close to the Trouee d'Arenberg sector.

Sagan thus became the first rider since Bernard Hinault in 1981 to win the Queen of the Classics in the rainbow jersey of a world champion. "I've done my best", Sagan said. Goolaerts hadn't raced it before and crashed in the second of the course's 29 cobblestone sections, which make up about 20% of the course, while making a right-hand turn. The criticism that the race went on, I find this rather cheap because everyone remained in the dark about the fate of Michael until 23:30. In 2017, almost half of the riders did not make it to the finish in the Roubaix Velodrome.

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