BY DANIEL ETCHELLS
Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht has died at the age of 22 following a crash during stage three of the Tour de Pologne.
The Lotto-Soudal rider crashed around 60 miles from the end of the 150.5 kilometres route from Stadion Śląski in Chorzów to Zabrze in Poland.
He had been resuscitated before being taken by helicopter to hospital, where he later died.
“The biggest tragedy possible that could happen to the family, friends and team-mates of Bjorg has happened… Rest in peace Bjorg…,” Lotto-Soudal tweeted.
Lotto-Soudal had also confirmed Lambrecht was on his way to hospital after the crash, before confirming at around 6pm that he had died.
Lambrecht was competing in his second season at International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour level.
He was the men’s under-23 silver medallist at last year’s UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck in Austria and finished 12th at this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné, where he topped the younger rider classification standings.
He also came fifth in the Brabantse Pijl in April and quickly followed it up with a sixth-place finish at the Amstel Gold Race in The Netherlands and a fourth-place finish at La Flèche Wallonne in Belgium.
“There are no words to describe this tragedy,” Tour de Pologne tweeted.
“Bjorg Lambrecht passed away following an accident on today’s stage.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, team and the whole cycling community.”
Germany’s Pascal Ackermann won today’s over-shadowed stage having also triumphed on the opening stage on Saturday (August 3).
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider was handed victory after The Netherlands’ Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-Quick-Step was relegated after footage showed he took his hands off the bars to push France’s Marc Sarreau of Groupama-FDJ in the sprint.
Ackermann’s winning time was 3 hours 29min 41sec.
The Netherlands’ Danny van Poppel of Jumbo-Visma finished second, while Denmark’s Mads Pedersen of Trek-Segafredo came third.
Ackermann remains the general classification leader and now has an overall time of 9:59:57.
Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria Rendon of UAE Team Emirates is 12 seconds behind in second, while Slovenia’s Luka Mezgec, the winner of stage two on Sunday, is a further two seconds back in third.