Lotto Soudal: Lambrecht 'is still with us'

Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue has discussed the tragic loss of Bjorg Lambrecht in the Tour de Pologne's third stage.

Talking to a small group of media outside the Lotto Soudal team bus following stage 4's neutralised homage to the rider, and struggling at times to contain his emotions after what has been a brutally difficult 24 hours, Lelangue called the situation "a dramatic scenario".

"Bjorg came here keen to race with the team," Lelangue said. "What happened yesterday is tragic for everybody, for his family first and foremost, for his friends, his fans, the team, the organisation, the entire cycling community. We can’t do anything about it. Unfortunately, this is life. Now we have to survive.

"This is something you can’t believe a few hours or even a day later, it seems unreal. He is not there anymore, we have to continue without him."

Lelangue was insistent that Lambrecht was still very much a part of the team.

"He's still one of our members," Lelangue said. "He stays as one of us, so we have to go on."

A decision on whether the team will continue racing in the Tour de Pologne, which will continue as normal on Wednesday with stage 5, remains uncertain, Lelangue said. A decision will be made once the squad has returned to the team hotel, situated some 20 kilometres away from the stage 4 finish in Kocierz.

"We have to see. This morning the riders have decided to do this neutralised stage in honor of him. This evening we return to the hotel, and there we will speak with everyone, quietly," Lelangue said. "We will see then what we will do tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day."

Asked if he had any news on what had caused the accident, Lelangue said he wasn't there and he did not see it.

"It was a crash like there are so many, everyday, in every race," he said. "Now we have to continue in support of his family, his teammates, his friends, the team, the cycling community, the organizations, the other teams. It is a sad day for the entire cycling family."

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.