Bjorg Lambrecht died today in hospital, following a crash during the third stage of the Tour of Poland. The twenty-two year old from Ghent rode for the Belgian Lotto Soudal team. Reports say that he left the road during a high-speed descent and crashed into a concrete culvert. Despite being successfully resuscitated and evacuated by helicopter, he died in surgery
The grief his family and friends are suffering would be the same regardless of talent, but they are shared by many, as he was already well-known to cycling fans. As a rider, he’ll be remembered for a string of excellent results in the Ardennes Classics this spring, and for finishing second in the 2017 Tour de l’Avenir, behind only the Tour de France winner Egan Bernal. He had already proved himself a sensational bike rider and was a young man with a great future.
It is difficult to know how to write about news like this, especially on a site that tends towards the irreverent and the personal. I haven’t been following the Tour of Poland and hadn’t intended to write anything this week. This news has been a stomach punch and there are tears in my eyes as I type. I take scant comfort in the knowledge that he died “with his boots on”, competing in the sport he loved, but my overwhelming feeling is of waste. He had so much talent, and all we can talk about is what he might have done. Had things been different.
The thoughts of all of us at Podium Cafe are with Bjorgs’s family, friends and teammates. Their loss is incalculable. May he rest in peace.