‘Our family has lost a brother’: cycling pays tribute to Antoine Demoitié

The Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider died in hospital on Sunday after an incident at Ghent-Wevelgem

Riders and teams from around the world of cycling have been paying tribute to Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider Antoine Demoitié, who died on Sunday after a incident involving a motorcycle at the 2016 Ghent-Wevelgem.

His death was announced late on Sunday night, so many have woken up to the news on Monday morning and since the outpouring of tributes to the 25-year-old Belgian have come from all corners of the cycling community.

Demoitié was being treated, and later died at a university hospital in Lille, France, with his team confirming that his wife and family were by his side.

His teammate and friend Gaetan Bille, who had been riding at the Volta a Catalunya this week, tweeted that thanks to Demoitié’s subsequent organ donation, the lives of three others were saved and he described his friend as a “hero to the end”.

British Wanty teammate Mark McNally was lost for words after news of Demoitié’s passing.

Many from the WorldTour have paid their tributes, with Demoitié taking part in an event from cycling’s highest level for the first time at last Friday’s E3 Harelbeke.

Collisions between cyclists and motos have become all too common during races, and some saw this accident as a moment that illustrates the need for change. One particular photo of support vehicles crowding a road has been retweeted several times.

The dominant theme, however, was the pulling together of disparate interests at the news that a young rider has been lost in tragic circumstances.

At times like this, cyclists stand shoulder-to-shoulder — and today we are all in mourning.