French cyclist Etienne Fabre, a 20-year-old who has just completed a training period with French WorldTour team AG2R La Mondiale, died hiking on Saturday.
Club VC Rodez, where ‘Fabro’ began his racing career 11 years ago in France’s south, announced the news early this morning. It said he died due to a fall on frozen snow while hiking in the Bauges Mountains, in France’s east near Albertville.
“Great sadness this morning on hearing the death of Etienne Fabre,” AG2R La Mondiale posted on Twitter. “The team shares the pain of his family and friends.”
Since August 1, Fabre had rode as a trainee or stagiaire with AG2R La Mondiale. He participated in the Brussels Cycling Classic and Paris-Tours.
The opportunity followed on the heels of a successful amateur career. Aged just 19, he won the Circuit des 4 Cantons, the Tour du Charolais and a stage in the Tour des Cantons de Mareuil-Verteillac-Ribérac.
He won a stage in the 2013 Trophée Centre Morbihan with the French national team, and in with VC Rodez he placed 11th in the 2014 junior Paris-Roubaix.
This success paved the way for him to join the Chambéry CF amateur team and to realise a dream racing with the professionals late this season.
“You had the whole future before you ‘Fabro’ and today, we will keep in mind your smile, the mischievous look of one who is proud of the planned coup,” wrote Chambéry CF.
“We will keep in memory your organisational skills, your ability to anticipate elements to better control them. We will not forget this remarkable effectiveness bought on by an insatiable ambition.”
His father Yves crashed while cycling last month and, according to a Facebook post by Fabre, he became quadriplegic as a result.
“More than a friend or a brother, you were already a man,” his friend and room-mate Pierre Idjouadiene wrote.
“The way you looked at your mother the last six weeks after your father’s accident, you were big and courageous. The nuggets of empathy that filled your eyes lit up our apartment lately and through you I learned to recognise what ‘courage’ meant.
“You have been brave, Etienne, to live with so much dignity the recent events. You kept your line: your sporting goals for sure, but your school objectives remained unalterable, whereas you had the right to think of yourself. You had a course and you held it. You were noble, and you did it for the good of your family and your loved ones.”
It has been a year of tragedy in cycling, with the deaths of Antoine Demoitié (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in Ghent-Wevelgem and Daan Myngheer (Roubaix Lille Métropole) in the Critérium International.