23-year-old Belgian dies in hospital in Lille

Veranda’s Willems-Crelan rider Michael Goolaerts has died after suffering a cardiac arrest during the 2018 edition of Paris-Roubaix.

Goolaerts crashed on the Briastre cobble sector with just over 150km remaining in the race, with television footage showing that the Belgian had appeared to have crashed alone.

>>> Cycling world pays tribute to Michael Goolaerts

Veranda’s Willems-Crelan said that the 23-year-old had suffered a cardiac arrest, receiving emergency treatment from medical staff at the scene. He was then transferred by helicopter to hospital in Lille for further treatment.

However the team confirmed that Goolaerts had died in hospital on Sunday evening surrounded by friends and family.

“It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts,” the team said in a statement.

“He passed away Sunday evening at 22:40 in Lille hospital in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts. He died of a cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail.

“For now there will be no further communication as we want to give his close ones time to deal with this terrible loss.

“We thank you in advance for respecting the privacy of his relatives.”