The world of cycling has been paying tribute to Michael Goolaerts, the 23-year-old rider who lost his life after suffering a cardiac arrest at Paris-Roubaix yesterday.
Among those to offer their condolences were the winner of yesterday’s race, Peter Sagan, plus three-time voctor of the race, Fabian Cancellara.
The rider’s friend and team mate Wout van Aert – the reigning world cyclo-cross champion, who was riding the race yesterday – and UCI president, David Lappartient were also among those to extend their condolences.
All the thoughts and prayers of the @BORAhansgrohe team and myself are with Michael Goolaerts. Such a sad news...
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) April 8, 2018
— Fabian cancellara (@f_cancellara) April 8, 2018
On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale and the cycling family as a whole, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, team and friends of Michael Goolaerts, who left us too early today. We share their immense sadness.
— David Lappartient (@DLappartient) April 8, 2018
World cyclo-cross champion van Aert wrote: "Goolie, like me, was born in 1994. So we’ve been together in the peloton for years.
"I cannot believe this is the end. Your eternal smile will always remain an inspiration for me."
Goolie, net als ik bouwjaar ‘94. Bijgevolg zitten we al jaren samen in het peloton. Ik kan het nog niet vatten dat daar een einde aankomt. Uw eeuwige smile zal altijd een inspiratie blijven voor mij. Rust zacht maat pic.twitter.com/Wn8qs3bzgN
— Wout van Aert (@WoutvanAert) April 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Sporza reports that a post mortem will be carried out on Goolaerts’ body in the coming days.
The autopsy will form part of the investigation into his death by the public prosecutor’s office in Cambrai, France.
The Belgian broadcaster quotes the public prosecutor as saying: “According to initial findings, it seems to be a heart failure, after which he [Goolaerts] fell, and it was not the fall that led to his condition.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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.