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

Stefan Loos was one of three riders injured in the collision

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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.