Michael Goolaerts had a heart attack before falling on Sunday at the Paris-Roubaix race, according to the autopsy carried out on Wednesday on the 23-year-old cyclist, VTM Nieuws announced. The reason for the heart attack was still unknown. Toxicological tests will be conducted to ascertain its cause, but that could take months.
On Wednesday, Goolaerts’ team, Veranda’s Willems-Crelan, was at the start of the annual Brabantse Pijl (Brabant Arrow) race, where a minute’s silence was observed. Everyone around the departed rider’s team wore a black band marked ‘Michael Goolaerts 24/07/1994 – 08/04/2018 #ALL4GOOLIE’.
The Belgian cyclist was found unconscious close to Viesly, on the second of the 29 cobbled sections of the 257-kilometre “Queen of the Classics” race. He was airlifted to Lille, where he died in the evening.