Cyclist Michael Goolaerts Dies at Age 23 from Cardiac Arrest

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2018

Trek team cyclists train ahead of Sunday's 115th edition of the Paris-Roubaix cycling classic, in Haveluy, northern France, Thursday, April 6, 2017. The Paris-Roubaix cycling classic is a 257.5 kilometer (160 mile) one day cycle race, with about 20 per cent of the distance run on cobblestones. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Michel Spingler/Associated Press

Michael Goolaerts, a 23-year-old Belgian cyclist, died after suffering a cardiac arrest during Sunday's Paris-Roubaix race.

His team, Veranda's Willems-Crelan Pro Cycling, confirmed the news:

Veranda’s Willems - Crelan Pro Cycling Team @Snipercycling


Goolaerts crashed on one of the first cobbled sections of the day and didn't move. Per the Guardian, he received CPR treatment on the side of the road before he was transported to a hospital in Lille.

The race continued and was won by three-time world champion Peter Sagan, who was among the many praying for his recovery:

Peter Sagan @petosagan

All the thoughts and prayers of the @BORAhansgrohe team and myself are with Michael Goolaerts. Such a sad news...

Fabian Cancellara, a three-time winner of Paris-Roubaix, took to Twitter to express his condolences:

Fabian Cancellara @f_cancellara

Terrible news.... RIP Michael Goolaerts. My deep condolences going to his family, friends, and Teammates and the @Snipercycling crew https://t.co/C9YFuZHdMN

Goolaerts started his career as a track racer and developed as a time-trialist. He turned professional in 2017 and won a stage in the Tour du Loir-et-Cher in 2016 as a stagiaire for Lotto-Soudal, per Pro Cycling Stats.