Dutch pro Gijs Verdick dies a week after double heart attack

21-year-old had been in a coma since last Tuesday after falling ill at Polish race

Dutch professional cyclist Gijs Verdick has died in hospital a week after sustaining a double heart attack while at a race in Poland.

In a statement, Cyclingteam Jo Piels, the Dutch UCI Continental team the 21-year-old joined at the start of the season, said he had been in an induced coma since the double cardiac arrest in the early hours of last Tuesday morning.

The second cardiac arrest, after he had been taken to hospital, left him brain damaged as a result of oxygen deprivation.

Verdick had been in Poland competing in the under-23 event the Carpathian Couriers Race. His team did not take to the stage start the morning after he was hospitalised.

> Gijs Verdick has double heart attack

He was repatriated to the Netherlands on Sunday and taken to the Isala Hospital in Zwolle, where he died on Monday. His family have asked that his organs be donated to save others.

His team said: “We are very touched by this loss and very sad for the whole team. What’s happened is unreal. Gijs’s move to Cyclingteam Jo Piels was a dream come true, taking him one step higher.

“Gijs was a great lad to race with and we will miss him enormously. Our sympathy goes out to his family, we wish you lots of power and strength while coming to terms with this loss.”

His death comes a month and a half after young Belgian professional Dann Myngheer died after suffering a heart attack at the Criterium International in France.

> Dan Myngheer dies after heart attack

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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