MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 17:12:58

Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies during race

Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies at the age of 23 after crashing during the Paris-Roubaix classic on Sunday.

Michael Goolaerts has died at the age of 23 after an incident during the Paris-Roubaix classic.

At the 110km point of the 257km race, Goolaerts was pictured receiving medical attention after seemingly being involved in a crash and the Belgian was airlifted to hospital.

However, Goolaerts's team - Veranda's Willems-Crelan - revealed on Sunday night that he had suffered a cardiac arrest and had passed away at 10.40pm at Lille hospital.

A statement read: "It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts. He passed away Sunday evening at 10.40pm in Lille hospital in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts. He died of cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail.

"For now there will be no further communication as we want to give his close ones time to deal with this terrible loss. We thank you in advance for respecting the privacy of his relatives."

Goolaerts turned professional in 2014 and he had spent the last four years with Veranda's Willems-Crelan.

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