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Saturday 10 December 2016

Irish cyclist (56) dies riding Tour of Flanders route in Belgium

Published 02/04/2016 | 18:35

Luke Rowe (C) of Great Britain and Team Sky leads the peloton up the Oude Kwaremont during the 2015 Tour of Flanders from Bruges to Oudenaarde on April 5, 2015 in Oudenaarde, Belgium. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Luke Rowe (C) of Great Britain and Team Sky leads the peloton up the Oude Kwaremont during the 2015 Tour of Flanders from Bruges to Oudenaarde on April 5, 2015 in Oudenaarde, Belgium. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

A 56-year old Irish cyclist died after becoming unwell while riding the amateur Tour of Flanders cycling sportif yesterday, Belgium news agencies reported last night.

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Some 16,000 cycling enthusiasts from all over the world were taking part in the event which is a curtain raiser for today’s Tour of Flanders professional race – one of the so-called Spring classics.

Belgium media reported that the Irish competitor became unwell on the Oude Kwaremont, one of the cobbled roads leading up the Kluisberg hill and a notoriously difficult part of the course.

A huge number of foreigners  compete in the event and his year the number of foreigners exceeded the number of Belgians for the first time..

The Dutch (3,300) and British (2,300) riders headed the list.

Belgium media reported that, despite the quick intervention of first aid teams, a  56-year-old Irish national  died after becoming unwell during the event.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Independent.ie that they are providing consular assistance to the family of an Irish person who died in Belgium today.

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