Wednesday 28 September 2016

Cycling world unites in sympathy following death of second Belgian in 48 hours

Published 29/03/2016 | 07:27

The cycling world is mourning the death of Belgian cyclist Daan Myngheer who passed away on Monday night after suffering a heart attack whilst competing in the Criterium International at the weekend.

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The 22-year-old Myngheer abandoned the opening leg of the three-stage Criterium International in Corsica on Saturday and was taken to hospital in Ajaccio, where he died on Monday evening surrounded by his family.

Cyclists have used Twitter to pay their respects after Myngheer became the second Belgian cyclist to die in as many days following the death of Antoine Demoitie on Sunday evening following a crash in the Gent-Wevelgem race.

French rider Thibaut Pinot, who won the Criterium International, used no words but put a crying emoji next to a picture of Myngheer.

British sprinter Mark Cavendish wrote: "Such a terribly sad few days in the professional cycling world. Another tragic loss. RIP Daan Myngheer. My thoughts are with your loved ones."

Welsh cyclist Owain Doull added: "Tragic news to wake up the death of Daan Myngheer. I've been racing against Daan since I was 15 and always looked up to him. Gone too soon."

Tour de France organisers ASO, who also operate the Criterium International, said on Twitter: "Our deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and teammates of Antoine Demoitie and Daan Myngheer."

A minute's silence was held for both riders at the beginning of the Three Days of De Panne on Tuesday morning.

UCI president Brian Cookson wrote on social media: "My thoughts are with the family, friends and teammates of Daan Myngheer."

Retired British rider David Millar added: "Nobody should die in a bike race or from bike racing. Sincerest condolences to the families & friends of Antoine & Daan. So very, very sad."

Myngheer's Roubaix Lille Metropole team announced his death on Monday morning.

"It is with great emotion that we announce the death of Daan Myngheer, the young Belgian rider who joined Roubaix Lille Metropole this year," a team statement said.

"Daan would have been 23 in a few days and he died doing what he loved most, cycling...

"He lost his last race after struggling as a great champion. He died this Monday, March 28 at 7.08pm in the presence of his parents, his sister Fleur Emely and her companion in the hospital of Ajaccio.

"All our thoughts, sincere will to parents, his sister Fleur Emely as well as to the whole family."

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