Gijs Verdick (Cycling Team Jo Piels) has died a week after suffering two heart attacks at the under 23 Carpathian Couriers Race in Poland his team have confirmed. Verdick was 21 years old and riding his first season at continental level.
He is the second rider to die of a heart attack at a race this season after Daan Myngheer passed away in March following a cardiac arrest during the opening stage of the Criterium International.
“We are very touched by this loss and very sad for the whole team. It is unreal what happened. For Gijs the transition to Cycling Team Jo Piels was the dream to come true,” a statement on the team’s website read. “Gijs was a fine boy to race with and we will miss him enormously. Our sympathy goes out to the family, we wish you a lot of power and strength during the processing of this loss."
Verdick was racing at the Carpathian Couriers Race in Poland last week when he suffered a heart attack at around 1:00 am following the race’s third stage. There were attempts to resuscitate him, with WIGGINS mechanic Mick Bell stepping in to perform CPR. The Dutch rider was taken to hospital where he had a second heart attack.
A lack of oxygen resulted in brain damage and Verdick was put into an induced coma. He remained in Poland until this Sunday before he was transferred from the hospital in Tarnow to the Isala Hospital in Zwolle, the Netherlands. He passed away on Monday. The team states that Verdick’s family have asked for his organs to be donated.
Cyclingnews extends its condolence to the friends, family and teammates of Gijs Verdick.