IAM Cycling's Kristof Goddaert killed after being run over by bus

Belgian press reports that 27-year-old professional came off his bike while riding in Antwerp

by Simon_MacMichael   February 18, 2014  

Kristof Goddaert (picture credit IAM Cycling)

IAM Cycling rider Kristof Goddaert has been killed after being run over by a bus at lunchtime today following a fall from his bike in Antwerp.

According to the Gazet Van Antwerpen, the 27-year-old Belgian died at the scene of the incident on Antwerp's Straatsburgdok, despite the efforts of emergency services personnel to try and save him.

The newspaper says that Goddaert lost control of his bike at around 2.10pm, adding that old train tracks may have been a factor, and that the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him.

A professional since 2007, Goddaert joined the Swiss professional continental outfit IAM Cycling last year following three seasons at AG2R-La Mondiale.

He was runner-up to Tom Boonen in the Belgian national road race championship in 2012 and other results include a top ten finish in Gent-Wevelgem in 2011, third place in Paris-Brussels in 2009, and a stage win in the Tour de Wallonie in 2010.

Last week, he rode in the Tour of Qatar. During the 2009 edition of that race, his room mate and Topsport Vlaanderen colleague Fred Nolf died in his sleep. Goddaert was one of the pallbearers at his funeral.

In a statement, IAM Cycling general manager Michel Thétaz said: "We first think of his family and loved ones to whom we offer our sincere condolences and assure of our support in this terrible ordeal.

"At IAM Cycling, we lost Kristof Goddaert, and exemplary professional rider and a quality man. He signed in December 2012 with a great desire to meet with a new challenge with us.

"His good mood every day, enthusiasm and willingness to engage fully in his endeavors were very much appreciated qualities.”

31 user comments

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RIP. Sad

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:05

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That's awful, a real shock.

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posted by chrisdstripes [1605 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:06

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Sad

Be careful out there people.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

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posted by Cyclist [144 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:22

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Make me nervous to think that even a professional in a country considered safe for cyclist can still result in this, better have a word with the kids about road safety tomorrow.

posted by GREGJONES [112 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:28

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So sad. Stay safe guys. Sad

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [134 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:45

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Such terrible news. One never knows how and when...

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [183 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:53

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R.I.P such a shame

Ride- drink coffee- eat cake- ride Big Grin

posted by mo55y [2 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:54

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Wow, Kristof's 2009 team-mate, Frederiek Nolf, had also died - but in his sleep. Kristof was one of the pall-bearers at his funeral.

posted by Paul J [608 posts]
18th February 2014 - 22:16

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not sure how "Safe for cyclists" Belgium is considered, sad anyhow.

@rich22222

posted by rich22222 [109 posts]
18th February 2014 - 22:18

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How tragic. RIP fella.

posted by JDebuse [5 posts]
18th February 2014 - 22:21

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Very sad. I feel for his family.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1120 posts]
18th February 2014 - 22:31

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I offer my condolences to his family and friends.

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posted by cidermart [460 posts]
18th February 2014 - 23:47

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The bus is too close then... RIP Kristof Goddaert.........

posted by denzzz28 [16 posts]
19th February 2014 - 0:44

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You know things are in a "bad way" when a seemingly supposed cycling website is seemingly reporting them as driverless.

posted by northstar [1100 posts]
19th February 2014 - 1:59

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Such sad news. Rest in peace.

posted by newbie roadie [8 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:12

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A talented young rider thoughts go out to his poor family.

posted by Chris Deacon [119 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:29

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If the bus can't stop it is too close. Rest in peace Kristoff...

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [167 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:42

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Unfortunate place to come off by the sounds of it, shows how potentially vunerable we all are even without kamikaze drivers.

http://matmitchellcycling.wordpress.com
The usual new 4th Cat blog with some stuff about Pros too.

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posted by mtm_01 [90 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:43

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"the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him"

...meaning the driver of the bus travelling too close behind to be able to stop in time should the unexpected occur, couldn't be bothered to hang back *just a few seconds* to allow for the unexpected to occur.

If he was a fixed object in the road like a broken-down car or person who had collapsed, the bus driver would have been held responsible for not stopping in time. Hopefully the driver will likewise be found at fault for tailgating or not passing with enough space.

Not that that will bring this guy back from the dead, but it might send a message to other drivers and save lives in future.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [474 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:47

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Wasn't there, and thus consider speculation inappropriate, and a little distasteful.

It's been a rough week for cycling, what with that South African track rider Jeanne Nell also dying.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
19th February 2014 - 10:23

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KiwiMike wrote:
"the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him"

...meaning the driver of the bus travelling too close behind to be able to stop in time should the unexpected occur, couldn't be bothered to hang back *just a few seconds* to allow for the unexpected to occur.

If he was a fixed object in the road like a broken-down car or person who had collapsed, the bus driver would have been held responsible for not stopping in time. Hopefully the driver will likewise be found at fault for tailgating or not passing with enough space.
.

Your view seems very simplistic, basically that no road user can ever approach within braking distance of another in case something 'unexpected' occurs.

Would a cyclist only be allowed to cycle at walking pace in case a pdestrian 'unexpectedly' decides to cross the road in front of them for example?

I don't think we know enough about the incident to apportion blame. I am sure the whole thing has been terriblefor both Kristof's family and also for the bus driver.

posted by Chris James [182 posts]
19th February 2014 - 11:38

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Chris James wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
"the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him"

...meaning the driver of the bus travelling too close behind to be able to stop in time should the unexpected occur, couldn't be bothered to hang back *just a few seconds* to allow for the unexpected to occur

Your view seems very simplistic, basically that no road user can ever approach within braking distance of another in case something 'unexpected' occurs.

Would a cyclist only be allowed to cycle at walking pace in case a pdestrian 'unexpectedly' decides to cross the road in front of them for example?

Yes. If you are going to pass another person so close that you could not react in time to them stopping or changing course, then yes. You should slow T-F down. Particularly when there is a significant mass/momentum differential and the consequence of any error on either part is highly likely to be death or serious harm. This is as relevant for a jogger running past a toddler or a cyclist passing a pedestrian as it is for a bus driver passing a cyclist.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [474 posts]
19th February 2014 - 12:15

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RIP indeed.

This just serves to illustrate that we can bicker about blame and recklessness and so on, but sometimes unpredictable things just happen.

Mechanicals. Hitting a drain lid at a bad angle in the wet. Driver has a heart attack. And so on.

And if, in those cases, your infrastructure forces small fragile (but nimble) road users to be in close proximity with large heavy fast road users, inevitably the consequences will sometimes be tragic. And no "behave yourself and be nice to each other" campaigns will make a blind bit of difference.

There are so many potholes in Manchester at the moment, often covered by water, and I'm sure the vast majority of drivers aren't thinking about what would happen if a cyclist took a sideways tumble...

posted by pmanc [115 posts]
19th February 2014 - 12:38

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Maybe he filtered down the inside of the bus and nipped in front like many riders do on a daily basis? Could explain why he then fell, if he didn't have a good view of the road in front? Not saying this is the case, but there's not enough info here to simply assume the bus had a terrible driver... Very sad in any case.

posted by Steezysix [7 posts]
19th February 2014 - 13:14

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So sad to lose another wonderful talent from the peloton, rest in peace dude Sad x

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
19th February 2014 - 13:19

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Chris James wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
"the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him"

...meaning the driver of the bus travelling too close behind to be able to stop in time should the unexpected occur, couldn't be bothered to hang back *just a few seconds* to allow for the unexpected to occur.

If he was a fixed object in the road like a broken-down car or person who had collapsed, the bus driver would have been held responsible for not stopping in time. Hopefully the driver will likewise be found at fault for tailgating or not passing with enough space.
.

Your view seems very simplistic, basically that no road user can ever approach within braking distance of another in case something 'unexpected' occurs.

You are joking right?

The vehicle codes for most countries explicitly include the concept of braking distance and promote the idea of safe following distances based on it... even if some of those are supposedly out of date. The following link apparently shows that some drivers believe their cars will stop in a shorter distance than is recommended: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=95692

posted by Ush [390 posts]
19th February 2014 - 13:57

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Ush wrote:

The vehicle codes for most countries explicitly include the concept of braking distance and promote the idea of safe following distances based on it... even if some of those are supposedly out of date. The following link apparently shows that some drivers believe their cars will stop in a shorter distance than is recommended: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=95692

http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/crime/argos-lorry-driver-who-killed-w...

about sums up the legal view of cyclists in the UK.

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posted by mrmo [1074 posts]
19th February 2014 - 14:21

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Ush wrote:
Chris James wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
"the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him"

...meaning the driver of the bus travelling too close behind to be able to stop in time should the unexpected occur, couldn't be bothered to hang back *just a few seconds* to allow for the unexpected to occur.

If he was a fixed object in the road like a broken-down car or person who had collapsed, the bus driver would have been held responsible for not stopping in time. Hopefully the driver will likewise be found at fault for tailgating or not passing with enough space.
.

Your view seems very simplistic, basically that no road user can ever approach within braking distance of another in case something 'unexpected' occurs.

You are joking right?

The vehicle codes for most countries explicitly include the concept of braking distance and promote the idea of safe following distances based on it... even if some of those are supposedly out of date. The following link apparently shows that some drivers believe their cars will stop in a shorter distance than is recommended: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=95692

No, I am not joking. All my club runs involve riding within stopping distance of the rider in front. If I choose to run across the main road outside my work I doubt even a law abiding 40mph driver would be able to stop before running me over.

It simply isn't possible to simply state that anyone running anyone else over is too close and should take more care. What about the example quoted above where a cyclist undertakes a vehicle and then hits a pothole. That could result in the driver running someone over with absolutely no hope of them being able to avoid it.

Yes, tailgating people is a very bad idea and very dangerous, butI don't think we should jump to conclusions in this case by adopting a view that a driver must ALWAYS bbe at fault by definition.

posted by Chris James [182 posts]
19th February 2014 - 16:40

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Such a young life lost. Very sad.
Many times we (do), often see vehicle drivers carefully following a cyclist (s), waiting for the opportunity to overtake safely but without realising the danger of following so closely.
All would certainly be horrified (including the impatient), if they were to cause injury to the cyclist.
It's baffling why the authorities - especially on the don't

posted by tuber [1 posts]
19th February 2014 - 19:41

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Chris James wrote:
Ush wrote:
Chris James wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
"the driver of the bus travelling behind was unable to avoid him"

...meaning the driver of the bus travelling too close behind to be able to stop in time should the unexpected occur, couldn't be bothered to hang back *just a few seconds* to allow for the unexpected to occur.

If he was a fixed object in the road like a broken-down car or person who had collapsed, the bus driver would have been held responsible for not stopping in time. Hopefully the driver will likewise be found at fault for tailgating or not passing with enough space.
.

Your view seems very simplistic, basically that no road user can ever approach within braking distance of another in case something 'unexpected' occurs.

You are joking right?

The vehicle codes for most countries explicitly include the concept of braking distance and promote the idea of safe following distances based on it... even if some of those are supposedly out of date. The following link apparently shows that some drivers believe their cars will stop in a shorter distance than is recommended: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=95692

No, I am not joking. All my club runs involve riding within stopping distance of the rider in front. If I choose to run across the main road outside my work I doubt even a law abiding 40mph driver would be able to stop before running me over.

It simply isn't possible to simply state that anyone running anyone else over is too close and should take more care. What about the example quoted above where a cyclist undertakes a vehicle and then hits a pothole. That could result in the driver running someone over with absolutely no hope of them being able to avoid it.

Yes, tailgating people is a very bad idea and very dangerous, butI don't think we should jump to conclusions in this case by adopting a view that a driver must ALWAYS bbe at fault by definition.

Maybe we're at cross-purposes. Your club run aside (which is a shared risk which you've all agreed to take), your examples are _not_ examples relevant to your phrase "no road user can ever approach within braking distance of another in case something 'unexpected' occurs." It seemed to me that we were discussing the situation (admittedly assumed in this case) that the bus driver was following too close behind the cyclist.

In addition, if you are driving (either a bicycle or a car) down a road with many line of sight obstacles you should be reducing your speed considerably in case some child does run out in front of you. That's your duty of care.

posted by Ush [390 posts]
20th February 2014 - 15:06

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