Belgian rider Goolaerts dies following cardiac arrest

After an exceptional run in the Belgian classics Niki Terpstra feels his chances are even better at Paris-Roubaix

CYCLIST Michael Goolaerts has sadly died after a crash in Paris-Roubaix.

"He passed away on Sunday evening at 22.40 in Lille Hospital in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts", said his team, Veranda's Willems-Crelan, on Twitter.

Veranda's Willems-Crelan confirmed to Belgian broadcaster Sporza that the 23-year-old had suffered a cardiac arrest, receiving emergency treatment from medical staff at the scene.

Goolaerts had finished ninth in the Dwars door West-Vlaanderen one-day race last month.

I think Paris-Roubaix has to be the toughest race because you have the terrain - there are anything between 52 and 55 kilometres of cobbles over the course of around 260 kilometres.

In sunny and warm conditions in northern France, the triple world champion, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, broke clear of the main pack in pursuit of the three riders who remained from the group of nine that had taken an early lead with 200km remaining.

The Slovak is the first reigning world champion to win Paris-Roubaix since Bernard Hinault in 1981.

Goolaerts is the third Belgian rider to die in recent years during a race.

It is his second win in the "monuments" - cycling's five most prestigious one-day races - following his Tour of Flanders victory in 2016.

Sagan tried to drop Dillier on the cobblestone section of the famed Carrefour de l'Arbre but the Swiss rider did not lose contact with his rival, guaranteeing some suspense until the final sprint.

The incident happened at a part of the course known as "Hell of the North".

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