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Serge Baguet dies aged 47

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Serge Baguet won stage 17 of the 2001 Tour de France

Serge Baguet won stage 17 of the 2001 Tour de France
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Serge Baguet in the Belgian national champions jersey

Serge Baguet in the Belgian national champions jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Serge Baguet

Serge Baguet
(Image credit: Davitamon-Lotto)
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Serge Baguet finished out his career with Quickstep

Serge Baguet finished out his career with Quickstep
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Serge Baguet at Brabantse Pijl

Serge Baguet at Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Serge Baguet in 2005

Serge Baguet in 2005
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)

Former Tour de France stage winner and Belgian champion Serge Baguet has died at the age of 47 after suffering from cancer.

Baguet was diagnosed with the disease in late 2014 after feeling severe abdominal pain on a bike ride. He was taken to hospital for surgery on an inflamed diverticulum, with doctors removing a piece of his intestine and later discovering a malignant tumour.

Six sessions of chemotherapy followed, and though it looked like his recovery was going well, Baguet acknowledged his life would never be the same. "I try to remain hopeful, I've always been a fighter. Yet I live with fear every day," he told Sporza at the time.

Those fears were ultimately borne out as the disease returned in 2016, and Baguet passed away at his home in Sint-Lievens-Houtem on Thursday morning.

Baguet’s career was a curious, two-part affair, parenthesized by four years working as a roofer.

He turned pro in 1991 with the Lotto team, and raced with the Vlaanderen 2002 team in 1996, but he was becoming disillusioned and hung up the wheels for the first time to work for his father-in-law.

He kept his fitness up, and made his comeback in 2000, again with the Lotto team, going on to enjoy the best years of his career. The crowning glory came in the 2001 Tour de France, where he won stage 17 to Montlucon from a three-man move that just escaped the clutches of the peloton.

Later that year he won the Druivenkoers Overijse and he also collected podiums in hilly one-day races such as the Amstel Gold Race and Trofeo Laigueglia. The other big success of his career came when he won the road race at the Belgian national championships in Saint-Hubert in 2005.

Baguet switched to Quick-Step, the other big Belgian team, in 2006, and retired for good at the end of the 2007 season.

Tributes from the world of cycling poured in on Thursday morning.