Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitie has died after a collision with a motorbike during Belgium’s Gent-Wevelgem race.
The 25-year-old was hit by the motorbike after several riders came down in a crash as the race passed through northern France.
Demoitie was taken to hospital in the French city of Lille but died some time later.
The 243km, one-day race was won by the current world road race champion, Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
French police announced Demoitie’s death. “An inquiry is under way to determine the circumstances,” said Frederic Evrard, a police spokesman.
Demoitie’s team, Wanty, posted on Twitter while he was still in a critical condition to say that his wife and family were at his side.
Former Belgian national champion Jens Debusschere was also taken to hospital after he was concussed following a heavy crash.
World road race champion Sagan held off Sep Vanmarcke, Vyacheslav Kuznetsov and Fabian Cancellara to take victory.
“I’m very happy that I’ve won finally in this jersey,” said the Slovak, after earning his first win as world champion.
Sagan, who was second in Friday’s E3 Harelbeke, recorded his second triumph in the one-day Belgian classic, having won it in 2013.
Dutch rider Chantal Blaak won the women’s race by 84 seconds after riding clear from a breakaway group with 10km remaining.
Lizzie Armitstead was the first Briton to cross the finish line, two minutes 23 seconds behind her Boels Dolmans Cycling Team colleague.
- Peter Sagan (Slo/Tinkoff) 5hrs 55mins 12secs
Sep Vanmarcke (Bel/LottoNL) Same time
Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus/Katusha)
Fabian Cancellara (Swi/Trek)
Arnaud Demare (Fra/FDJ) +11secs
Fernando Gaviria (Col/Etixx-Quick-Step) Same time
Juergen Roelandts (Bel/Lotto)
Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita/Katusha)
Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing)
Michael Morkov (Den/Katusha)