Lotto Soudal team doctor Maarten Meirhaeghe has released information regarding the cause of Bjorg Lambrecht's death following a crash during Monday's stage 3 at the Tour de Pologne. In a press statement issued on Wednesday, two days after the accident, Meirhaeghe said that Lambrecht suffered a severe laceration to his liver that caused an internal hemorrhage and a cardiac arrest.
"Bjorg died from a big liver laceration which caused a massive internal hemorrhage. As a consequence, Bjorg suffered a cardiac arrest," Meirhaeghe said.
"Bjorg had the biggest stroke of bad luck that was possible by the way he crashed. With such internal hemorrhages, a miracle is needed, a miracle which he wasn’t given…
"The place and the time did not influence the consequences. Even if such trauma would have happened inside a hospital, the chances of a bad outcome are real."
Lambrecht crashed into a concrete culvert partway through the 150km flat stage 3 between Chorzow and Zabrze at the Tour de Pologne on Monday. It was unclear why he fell and no other rider was reportedly involved in the crash.
Race doctors provided medical treatment to Lambrecht at the side of the road, but his condition didn't allow him to be transported to the hospital by helicopter. He was taken to a hospital in Rybnik by ambulance where he later died during surgery.
Lotto Soudal confirmed Lambrecht's death shortly after the finish of the stage. Race director Czeslaw Lang also confirmed the tragic news at the event in a short speech, and all post-race celebrations were cancelled.
The medical staff of the Tour de Pologne, including the race doctor Ryszard Wisniewski, explained that their best efforts were unable to save Lambrecht.
Organisers of the Tour de Pologne held a shortened and neutralised stage 4 on Tuesday. Lotto Soudal led the peloton out of respect for Lambrecht to the finish in Kocriez. Riders and staff of the race wore black ribbons in memory of Lambrecht. An overhead arch entirely in black and bearing Lambrecht's name and his Tour de Pologne race bib no.143 was erected at the top of one of the climbs. The event held a moment of silence for Lambrecht at the start and finish of the day’s stage.
The race resumed for stage 5 with all of Lambrecht's Lotto Soudal teammates electing to take the start line in Kopalnia Soli Wieliczka and racing the 154km to Bielsko-Biała.
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