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Lotto-Soudal vows to continue racing in honor of Lambrecht

Belgian team has decided to keep racing as the peloton continues to mourn the tragic death of Bjorg Lambrecht

Lotto-Soudal riders will take part in Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Tour of Poland despite the death of Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht, the team announced.

Lambrecht, 22, tragically died following a crash on Monday’s third stage after losing control of his bike and colliding with a concrete bridge over a ditch.

“It has been decided that all our Lotto-Soudal riders will start in stage five of the [Tour of Poland] today and will ride for Bjorg,” the team tweeted ahead of the 1045 GMT start from the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Team members and staff held discussions late into Tuesday night over whether the riders would continue in the race, according to Polish agency PAP.

Organizers neutralized and shortened Tuesday’s fourth stage, as Lambrecht’s fellow Lotto-Soudal riders wore black armbands and took part in a minute’s silence. They then repeated the homage and stopped cycling at the same distance where Lambrecht had crashed a day earlier.

A promising climber, Lambrecht was hailed as one of the top GC prospects to come out of Belgian cycling in decades. Lambrecht won the Under 23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and finished second in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2017 behind this year’s Tour de France winner Egan Bernal before turning professional last year with Lotto-Soudal.

His parents had seen him off at Monday’s start and were waiting for his arrival at the finish line, race organizers said. He was resuscitated on the spot, then taken in a critical condition to a hospital in Rybnik, where he died on the operating table. The city’s public prosecutor has opened an investigation into the causes of the incident.