29 March 2016
Every cycling race has a story to tell. In fact, more than one. Last Sunday, there were 199 stories. There is, of course, the story of the winner and of the loser. But also, the story of the one that just missed the breakaway, or the story of the one that could not close the gap to the first group. One race, 199 riders. 199 different stories. And yet we get to see just a few of them. The cobbles in the road, the many trees along the road, the wind blowing over the land. They know all the stories. They actually play a part in all of the stories.
Death should not play a part in any of these stories.
Antoine Demoitié. He was so proud to be a professional rider. He was riding with a smile on his face. Every day. Every race. There are no words for what happened to him. A horrible accident. Only 25 years old. May he rest in peace.
Saturday’s time trial in the Critérium International also contained many stories. It hardly ever happens that a rider does not cross the finish after an individual time trial. That a rider fights like a true champion, but does not make it. That a rider is not able to finish his final race. That his heart gives up on him. That a heart attack changes everything and just the bike remains.
A bike without a rider, it doesn’t feel right.
Daan Myngheer. From the Verandas Willems Cycling Team to Roubaix Lille Métropole, where he made his professional debut this year. Cycling was not just work, he really enjoyed it and called it his hobby. He always wanted to help his teammates and slowly become stronger. Only 22 years old. May he rest in peace.