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Retired pro rider and television pundit Chris Anker Sørensen has been killed after being struck by a van driver while cycling in Belgium.
Sørensen, 37, had been attending the world championships to work for Danish television channel TV2 Sport at the time of the incident Saturday.
“It is with great sadness that I have received the news that our good colleague Chris Anker Sørensen is dead,” stated TV2 Sport director Frederik Lauesen.
“Chris Anker Sørensen was in Belgium for the world cycling championships. Today, Saturday, he was out cycling and was hit by a car and he later died of his injuries. Our thoughts and deep sympathy go to Chris Anker Sørensen’s family.”
Sørensen had enjoyed a long 16-year pro career before retiring in 2018. The Dane spent several seasons with the CSC and Saxo Bank teams, scoring victories at the Giro d’Italia and Critérium du Dauphiné before becoming national champion in 2015. He turned to media work soon after hanging up his wheels and became a commentator at the popular TV2 Sport channel, where he worked through to his assignment at this year’s worlds.
Flanders 2021 and the UCI are saddened by the news that former rider Chris Anker Sørensen has passed in a traffic accident. Chris attended the 2021 UCI Road World Championships while working as an analyst for Danish television. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/7DqpJt4BMd
— FLANDERS 2021 (@flanders2021) September 18, 2021
“Flanders 2021 and the UCI are saddened by the news that former rider Chris Anker Sørensen has passed in a traffic accident,” read a statement from organizers of this year’s world championships. “Chris attended the 2021 UCI road world championships while working as an analyst for Danish television. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.”
Tributes have since flooded in for Sørensen, who was both a popular member of the pro peloton and much-loved by the Danish public thanks to his media roles.
“It’s absolutely awful news. One lacks words. He was a beloved cycling enthusiast and reporter and former cyclist who lost his life far too soon,” Martin Petersen, director of the Danish cycling union told TV2. “It affects us all. No matter how closely we know him.”
All the team at VeloNews would like to pass our wishes to Sørensen’s family, friends, and colleagues.
Words can’t express my sadness to hear of the tragic passing of former professional cyclist and journalist, Chris Anker Sørensen.
— David Lappartient (@DLappartient) September 18, 2021
This is awful news. Rip Chris. https://t.co/swkMJUrO99
— Tao Geoghegan Hart (@taogeoghegan) September 18, 2021
This is tragic news. A rider I admired, a colleague and commentator I enjoyed talking to and asking his thoughts and expertise at races. He so freely gave his insight and advice after riding the courses every day. RIP Chris Anker. My thoughts are with his friends and family. https://t.co/yVeWDGbzGs
— Anthony McCrossan (@antmccrossan) September 18, 2021