Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts, 23, passes away

The rider was airlifted to hospital in Lille but died this evening surrounded by his loved ones. Goolaerts crashed with about 150 kilometers remaining in the race and was navigating one of the cobblestone sectors at the time of his crash.

His team, Veranda's Willems-Crelan, said in a statement that Goolaerts had been taken to hospital having been involved in a crash.

According to a BBC report, Goolaerts is in a "life-threatening condition", and has been taken straight to hospital.

"For now there will be no further communication as we want to give his close ones time to deal with this awful loss".

"We thank you in advance for respecting the privacy of his relative".

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Just after the race, event organiser, Christian Prudhomme, provided the press with a comment.

CYCLIST Michael Goolaerts has sadly died after a crash in Paris-Roubaix.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends now".

Sagan became the first defending world champion to win the one-day classic along cobbled streets since Frenchman Bernard Hinault 37 years ago. His Verandas Willems-Crelan team said "there is no further news at the moment".

He has been in superb form this season - placing ninth at Dwars dooor Vlaanderern and 20th at both Driedaagse De Panne and Kuuren-Brussel-Kuurne.

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