Organisers of the Tour of Poland have opted to neutralise stage four after the tragic death of Bjorg Lambrecht.
The Lotto-Soudal rider crashed 48 kilometres into stage three and suffered serious injuries and was resuscitated, before being taken to hospital where he died shortly after.
Tour of Poland race director Czeslaw Lang announced that stage four of the race would be neutralised and shortened as a tribute to 22-year-old Lambrecht.
There has been a huge outpouring of emotion from both riders and teams after the news.
Lang said: “We are all incredibly shaken by this tragedy. Words fail to describe the emotions that we’re all feeling. I share the pain with Bjorg’s family, his team and all members of the cycling community. At the same time I reiterate our full support.
“Bjorg Lambrecht will forever remain in our memories as an exceptional cyclist and a great man.”
Stage four of the race from Jaworzno to Kocierz will be neutralised and has been shorted from 173.3km to 133km with the final laps reduced to one.
Lambrecht crashed after around 50km remaining of the 150km stage three from Chorzów to Zabrze, when he left the carriageway on a straight and wide road.
The Belgian was resuscitated after the fall and was rushed to hospital, before Lotto-Soudal confirmed shortly after the stage ended that he had died.
A statement from Lotto said: “The biggest tragedy possible that could happen to the family, friends and team-mates of Bjorg has become reality today.
“Lotto-Soudal is deeply saddened to inform that 22-year-old Bjorg Lambrecht passed away following a crash in the Tour of Poland today.
“The entire Lotto-Soudal team would like to express its deepest condolences to the family, friends, team-mates and all the loved ones of Bjorg.
“May you rest in peace Bjorg.”
Lambrecht was riding his second season at WorldTour level and has been one of the great Belgian hopes.
He finished second in the under-23 World Championships last year and went on to ride to 12th in the Critérium du Dauphiné this year, taking the youth classification in the process.
Lambrecht also finished fifth in Brabantse Pijl earlier this year, following up with sixth in Amstel Gold Race and fourth in Flèche Wallone.
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