Autopsy inconclusive as to whether motorbike caused death of Antoine Demoitié
The funeral for the late Belgian rider will be held near Liège on Monday
It is uncertain if Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitié died from his crash or from the impact of a race motorbike in Ghent-Wevelgem, according autopsy results released yesterday.
The 25-year-old team Wanty-Groupe Gobert cyclist crashed with three others around 150km into the race on Sunday as it went through northern France, near Sainte-Marie-Cappel. On the ground, a race jury motorbike hit him.
Medics took him to a hospital in Lille, France where he did not make it through the night. He was pronounced dead early Monday morning.
"The cause of death was due to a blow to the back of the base of the skull which resulted in death by cerebral haemorrhage," Dunkirk prosecutor Eric Fouard told AFP.
"But the pathologist cannot determine if the injury was after the fall of the rider or the clash with the motorbike."
The Belgian team refused to blame the motorbike driver when it met with press on Monday to speak about the incident.
The team manager was asked what he thought and the press officer responded for him. "We don't want to go into that discussion at the moment," José Been said. "It's not the place to discuss it. We do stress that he was an experienced driver. It was an accident, a terrible one, but an accident."
Demoitié raced his first WorldTour race on Friday in the E3 Harelbeke, when he made the breakaway and rode free for 100km prior to the victory of Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won the Ghent-Wevelgem race on Sunday and said on Monday, "The news of his death saddened me and I would like to express my deepest condolences to his wife and family."
The family is holding Demoitié's funeral service at 11:00 on Monday in Les Avins, south of Liège.
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Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
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