Cyclists in the Paris-Roubaix
Cyclists in the Paris-Roubaix

Cyclist dies in Paris-Roubaix tragedy

Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts has died after suffering heart failure during yesterday's Paris-Roubaix one-day classic, his team announced.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts," the Veranda's Willems team said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The 23-year-old he died late last night in a hospital in the northern French city of Lille.

"He died of cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail."

Shortly after the 257km race ended, Paris-Roubaix director Christian Prudhomme

Video from the scene showed Goolaerts being given CPR after crashing during the 257km race. He was airlifted to hospital.

The incident happened at a part of the course known as "Hell of the North".

World champion Peter Sagan won the race.

It was a second prestigious 'Monument' one-day classic success for Sagan, who won the Tour of Flanders in 2016 and has three consecutive world titles.

"I feel amazing, I'm so tired, but I was involved in no crashes, had no flat tyres and I just kept going," said the 28-year-old Slovak, who at one point was caught on camera using an Allen key to make some onboard repairs as he cycled along at more than 40km/h.

"I didn't feel that strong actually, I just felt the others wouldn't work together and that it was the right moment," he said of his break.

"It's very good for my career, when I was younger I dreamed of winning this race."

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