The cycling community has paid tribute to the sudden loss of one of its own, Bjorg Lambrecht, who tragically died following a crash during stage 3 at the Tour de Pologne on Monday. Lambrecht was just 22 years old.
Lambrecht, who raced for the WorldTour team Lotto Soudal, crashed into a concrete culvert partway through the 150km stage, although it is unclear why he fell. Race doctors provided medical treatment to Lambrecht at the side of the road but his condition didn't allow him to be transported to hospital by helicopter. He was taken to hospital by ambulance where he later died during surgery.
Race organisers cancelled the post-race ceremonies as the cycling community mourns the loss of Lambrecht.
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who won the stage, expressed his condolences to Lambrecht's family and teammates at Lotto Soudal. "Today, the result of the race doesn't matter. I was devastated to hear today's tragic news and I would like to personally send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bjorg Lambrecht and everyone at Lotto - Soudal," Ackermann said.
"Everyone at Bora-hansgrohe is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Bjorg Lambrecht. Our deepest sympathies go out to Bjorg's family and friends and the Lotto-Soudal team at this very sad time. The cycling family is deeply shocked and heartbroken about this sad news."
Lambrecht was a fast-rising talent in the professional cycling world. He recently took 12th place and won the best young rider classification at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He also won the under-23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and placed second in the Tour de l'Avenir, Giro Ciclistico della Valle d'Aosta Mont Blanc, Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc and Ronde de l'Isard in 2017. Last year, he won the silver medal in the under-23 road race at the Innsbruck World Championships.
Organisers of Ronde de l'Isard issued a press release noting the "special relationship" Lambrecht had with the race, where he demonstrated his talents in 2016 with the overall win, all the other classifications and a stage atop Goulier-Neige, Ariège. The next year he was second to Pavel Sivakov (now with Team Ineos), and won a stage at the Plateau de Beille.
''Bjorg Lambrecht will be remembered for ever as a talented cyclist and an incredibly kind person'', said Guy Sans, the chairman of the organising committee and the head of volunteer's staff.
Cyclingnews would like to extend its condolences to Bjorg's family, friends and teammates.