Veranda's Willems to race Brabantse Pijl - News Shorts

French authorities to investigate Goolaerts' death, Quick-Step for Brabantse Pijl, Bigard added as UCI medical director

The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team has decided to start Wednesday's Brabantse Pijl, they announced on Twitter.

The team is still reeling from the death of Michael Goolaerts, who suffered a cardiac arrest during Paris-Roubaix and succumbed Sunday evening.

"After careful consultation with the family of Michael and our riders, we decided that we will be at the start of @DeBrabantsePijl this Wednesday 11/4. We will ride #BP18 with Michael in our hearts," the team wrote.

French authorities to investigate Goolaerts' death

The French authorities will conduct an investigation into the death of Michael Goolaerts in Paris-Roubaix and have scheduled an autopsy to take place in the coming days, according to L'Equipe.

The public prosecutor in Cambrai clarified that it is a routine inquiry into a sudden death. "This is not a criminal investigation, it is an investigation that aims, when the circumstances of a death are unexplained - which is the case when a man of the young age of dies in a somewhat sudden manner - to elucidate the circumstances without presuming the existence of offences," the prosecutor's office said.

They added that from the initial evidence, it seems that Goolaerts suffered the cardiac arrest prior to crashing and that the fall did not cause the cardiac arrest.

Three neo-pros for Quick-Step in Brabantse Pijl

The Quick-Step Floors will reshuffle its line-up as the cobbled classics end and the Ardennes beckon, adding in three newcomers for its lineup in Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday.

"With Brabantse we are entering in a new period of the calendar and heading towards the hillier classics," said sports director Rik van Slycke. "The parcours is up and down the whole day spanning over 202 kilometres. After 132 kilometres, they pass the finish line for the first time and head out on three local laps of 23.4 kilometres featuring five hills, the last three placed inside the last 10 kilometres of the lap.

"The climbs are rather short and not extreme in gradients but the heavy amount will make a mark on the guys, separating the strongest from the weakest."

New acquisition Kasper Asgreen, Jhonatan Narvaez and Scheldeprijs winner Fabio Jakobsen will join Bob Jungels, Davide Martinelli, Pieter Serry and Rémi Cavagna for the race.

"There's a plethora of good riders on the start list and we won't take the race into our hands like in the cobbled classics," Van Slycke said. "This doesn't mean we won't try to get something out of this beautiful race. For sure, we will do everything to bring our riders in the best possible position so they can fight for a good result."

Quick-Step Floors for Brabantse Pijl: Kasper Asgreen, Rémi Cavagna, Fabio Jakobsen, Bob Jungels, Davide Martinelli, Jhonnatan Narvaez, Pieter Serry.

UCI adds Xavier Bigard as Medical Director

The UCI announced the addition of a new Medical Director in Xavier Bigard, a notable sports medicine researcher.

A former President of the French Society of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SFMES) and health researcher for the armed forces, Bigard also serves as a consultant to the AFLD, French Health and Sport ministries and is a researcher at the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP). A lecturer at several other French universities, he is also a member of the French National Academy of Medicine.

When he joins on June 1, Bigard will work on the UCI's medical policy, set up medical services for races and lead health research.

"Implementing independent medical supervision was a key component of the manifesto on which I was elected UCI President six months ago," UCI President David Lappartient said. "Welcoming Professor Bigard to our Federation is a strong indication of our commitment to guaranteeing the health of our athletes, but also to assessing the consequences of taking certain substances, legal or otherwise."  

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