11:00 07 Aug 2019
The 2019 Tour of Poland paid tribute to the late Bjorg Lambrecht by suspending its fourth stage on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old was killed in a crash on Stage 3 on Monday. He reportedly fell into a concrete culvert during the stage from Chorzow to Zabrze.
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On Tuesday, riding began in a neutralised stage with a minute’s silence and it was followed by another at 48.5km, the distance at which Lambrecht had crashed the previous day.
Riders from different teams, all wearing black armbands, took it in turn to lead the stage before ceding to the Lotto-Soudal riders.
They came together to approach the finish before stepping off their bikes with 50 feet remaining and observing a third minute’s silence. Eventually, they crossed through a black finishing arch, which also featured Lambrecht’s name and his race number, 143.
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Lotto-Soudal afterwards paid their own tribute to Lambrecht. “During the 2016 cycling season, as a first year U23, everybody was talking about Bjorg, within and also outside the peloton. Words like ‘pocket climber’, ‘rough diamond’, ‘puncher’, ‘Grand Tour hope’ were used,” the team said in a statement.
“With playful determination, he integrated into the world of professional cycling. Teammates and staff appreciated his work ethic and humility, opponents discovered his talent, and the media appreciated his nuanced but clear story.
“All riders and staff of Lotto-Soudal would sincerely like to thank everybody for their expressions of sympathy in the usually hard top-level sports world. But in the first place, our thoughts go out to the parents, family and friends of Bjorg, who have to endure the greatest burden, a life without Bjorg.”
Lambrecht is the second professional rider to die this year after the Dutchman Robbert de Greef suffered a cardiac arrest in the Omloop van de Braakman.
You can see live coverage of Stage 5 of the Tour of Poland from 18:00 CAT on Fox Sports 1 today.