Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitié has died in hospital after being hit by a motorbike after a fall during the Gent-Wevelgem cycling classic on Sunday. Several riders had fallen in the crash as the race moved through Sainte-Marie-Cappel in northern France.
“The rider died. An inquiry is under way to determine the circumstances,” Frederic Evrard, spokesman for the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional gendarmerie in France, told Agence France Presse.
The 25-year-old Wanty-Gobert rider was taken to the University Hospital of Lille after the accident during a section of the race in Northern France but died some time later.
Team Wanty-Gobert had said on Twitter late on Sunday that their rider was in a very serious condition and that his wife and family were at his side, but had no further updates.
The 243-kilometre event was won by the world champion Peter Sagan, the Tinkoff rider beating his breakaway companions after taking the wheel of the Russian Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, who launched the final sprint but finished third.
Lotto Soudal rider Jens Debusschere was also taken to hospital after crashing during the notoriously gruelling race, with his team confirming he suffered a “bruised muscle, a bruised junction between collar bone and shoulder blade, a concussion and abrasions”.