In a spot of tragic news, Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash. The 22-year old was rushed to the hospital immediately, sadly, it was too late for him. His team, Lotto-Soudal announced, “The biggest tragedy possible that could happen to the family, friends and teammates of Bjorg has happened… Rest in peace Bjorg.”
According to Polish news website Onet, Bjorg Lambrecht collided with a concrete structure. The incident took place around 30 kilometres into the race during an unexpected rain shower. Attempts were made to resuscitate him on the spot, before he was taken in a critical condition to a hospital in Rybnik. Tragically, Onet reported that he died on the operating table.
“It wasn’t a high-speed descent. It was a straight and wide road. He had a moment of hesitation, he left the asphalt and the tragedy occurred,” said race director Czeslaw Lang to PAP Agency.
“The injuries were so serious that we called for a helicopter and an ambulance. He was transported to hospital. His heart started beating again but he sadly died during the operation.”
“There are no words to describe this tragedy. Bjorg Lambrecht passed away during following an accident on today’s stage. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, team and the whole cycling community.”
Meanwhile, coming to the actual race itself, German cyclist Pascal Ackermann took the stage three victory. Initially, Fabio Jakobsen crossed the finish line first, but it was taken away from him. The reason behind the penalty was an irregular sprint heading into the finish line. Naturally, there were subdued celebrations and Ackermann paid tribute to the late Bjorg Lambrecht.
“Today, the result of the race doesn’t matter,” Ackermann said. “I was devastated to hear today’s tragic news and I would like to personally send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bjorg Lambrecht and everyone at Lotto-Soudal.”
Meanwhile, 2018 World Road Race Champion, Alejandro Valverde tweeted his condolences. He also echoed Ackermann’s comments on Twitter and gave his own tribute to the Belgian.
“Deeply sorry for the loss of Bjorg Lambrecht, a cyclist who had demonstrated a lot in a few years,” the Spaniard said. “My deepest condolences to family, friends and team.”
Pascal Ackermann built up a hefty advantage of 12 seconds to second-placed Fernando Gaviria after the 150.5km run between Chorzow and Zabrze.
What made his passing even more heart breaking was Lambrecht’s excitement ahead of the race. In fact, he even shared his excitement in a video shortly before the event. He said, “I hope I have a good condition to make some good results for me and the team,”
Bjorg Lambrecht joined the Lotto-Soudal team in 2018 and re-signed for two more years in June. He had had a run of good results during one-day classics earlier in the year, and was named most promising youngster in the June tour of the Dauphine, a preparatory event of the Tour de France.