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Claude Criquielion dies aged 58

Former world champion Claude Criquielion, 58, has died after a suffering a stroke and a brain haemorrhage. The Belgian was taken to hospital in Aalst, Belgium on Sunday and remained in a critical condition until his death on Wednesday morning.

The hospital confirmed the passing of the 1984 world champion had occurred at 9:00am this morning, with the family deciding not to add any further comment at this stage.

"At the request of the family, we will inform you with sadness that Mr. Claude Criquielion died today at 9am in the General Municipal Hospital, campus in Aalst at the age of 58 as a result of a severe brain haemorrhage," read the hospital’s statement.

"The family also agreed to implement an organ donation procedure. No further statements will be made by the hospital or by the family."

Criquielion was born in 1957 in Lessines, Belgium and rode professionally from 1979 until 1991, for teams including KAS, Splendor and Lotto. He was a consistent winner throughout his long career, with his most successful year coming in 1984, when he not only won the Worlds but nine other races as well.

He also finished ninth in his debut Tour de France in 1979, and came second in the white jersey competition to current Europcar team mananger, Jean-René Bernaudeau.

The following year he finished third in the Vuelta a Epsana, and second again in the white jersey competition at both Tour de France in 1980 and 1981. He finished in the top ten at the Tour de France on four occasions, peaking in fifth place in 1986.

There was success in the one-day arena too, with wins in the Tour of Flanders, Flèche Brabançonne, Flèche Wallonne, San Sebastian, and of course his world title in 1984, when he beat Claudio Corti (Italy) and Steve Bauer (Canada) to the line.

Criquielion famously missed out on a repeat world title on Belgian roads in Ronse in 1988 when he clashed with Bauer in the finishing straight and a surprised Maurizio Fondriest (Italy) took the rainbow jersey. He later took an unsuccessful legal action against Bauer. His one and only national title came in 1990.

Cyclingnews would like to send its condolences to Criquielion's family and friends.

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