The organisers of the race will have a somber moment at the start in Leuven, allowing the Belgian squad to be the last to appear on the start podium. The entire team will lead the peloton on a neutral lap in Leuven, followed by another minute of silence before the race beings.
Goolaerts suffered a cardiac arrest during Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. French authorities do not yet have confirmation what caused his condition, but theorised that the cardiac arrest preceded his fall. Medics continued resuscitation efforts until he was airlifted to a hospital in Lille. Goolaerts was surrounded by his family when he died later Sunday evening.
The team announced on Monday they would race the Brabantse Pijl in his honour. "After careful consultation and at the request of Michael Goolaerts' family and our riders, we decided to be at the start of the race," the team wrote on its website. "Above all, the Brabantse Pijl will be our first race after the tragic loss of our teammate and friend. The first race we'll ride with Michael in our minds.
"The entire team will meet on Tuesday, including the riders who are not in the line-up. This is a moment to come together as a team and to back and console each other. The riders who are not riding on Wednesday will be there as support for the riders who are. Everyone contributes to the team. Everyone is part of the race. Everyone 'Sniper'. This as a tribute to Michael. #All4Goolie!"
Veranda's Willems-Crelan for Brabantse Pijl: Huub Duijn, Mathias De Witte, Zico Waeytens, Dries De Bondt, Arjen Livyns, Elias Van Breussegem, Sean De Bie.
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