Michael Goolaerts: Cyclist’s funeral held in Belgium


Former team-mate Shaw pays tribute to Goolaerts

Leading figures from the cycling world were among the mourners at the funeral of Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts.

The 23-year-old died after suffering cardiac arrest while riding at the Paris-Roubaix race on 8 April.

The Veranda’s Willems-Crelan rider was found unconscious and not breathing after falling on a cobbled section of the one-day classic.

He was riding his first senior Paris-Roubaix, having competed in the under-23 edition in 2015.

Christian Prudhomme – the boss of the Tour de France and race director of Paris-Roubaix – and Belgian cycling federation president Tom van Damme were among those at the church in Goolaerts’ hometown of Heist-Op-Den-Berg on Tuesday, the Belga news agency reported.

A giant screen was installed in front of the church for the many mourners who could not fit into the building.

The Veranda team said: “Today we said goodbye to our dear friend Michael Goolaerts. But ‘Goolie’ will always be with us, wherever we ride. We will always carry his continuous smile in our heart.”

The funeral took place at a church in Goolaerts’ home town Heist-Op-Den-Berg
Goolaerts had been riding his first senior Paris-Roubaix
His Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team-mates Zico Waeytens (second left), Sean de Bie (centre), Stijn Devolder (second right) and Senne Leysen (right) were pallbearers at the funeral

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