19-year-old rider dies after crash involving van during race in Belgium

Stefan Loos was one of three riders injured in the collision

Stef Loos was involved in a crash with a van during a race in Belgium

A 19-year-old rider has died after a collision with a van during a race in Belgium.

Stefan Loos was one of three riders involved in the crash during the Alfred Gadenne Memorial on Sunday (March 17).

A large group of riders were sent the wrong way by a marshal and three collided with a delivery van at a junction, according to the boss of Loos’ team.

Chairman of the Acrog-Pauwels Sauzen-Balen team, Jef Roberts, said: “Very tragic news. Our rider Stef Loos, a promising rider with the team, was the victim of a severe accident.

“Together with two other riders, Stef was hit by a van and suffered serious injuries.”

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Loos, from Dessel in Belgium, was taken to hospital where he later died, having suffered severe brain trauma and internal injuries.

The crash happened at around 2.30pm during the race for prospects and elites without a contract, held in Dottenijs near the French border.

Lotto-Soudal under-23 rider Ruben Apers and Jonas Bresseleers were the other two riders caught in the crash.

Apers suffered several fractures in his thigh and collarbone and required surgery.

The crash happened 25km into the race, when the group of riders went straight where the course turned tight.

Around 30 riders went the wrong direction and rode towards an unguarded intersection, where three racers were involved in the crash with the van.

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The police have opened an investigation into the circumstances of the crash, according to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

Last week, 19-year-old American rider Tate Meintjes died after a crash with a car while he was previewing a time trial course.

Meintjes and his team-mates were on a recce of the Redlands Bicycle Classic TT stage in California on Tuesday, March 12.

A car made a U-turn in the road, driving into Meintjes’ path and the rider was unable to avoid the crash, police said.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.