Belgian cyclist dies after suffering heart attack in race

After an exceptional run in the Belgian classics Niki Terpstra feels his chances are even better at Paris-Roubaix

Veranda's Willems-Crelan rider Michael Goolaerts has been taken to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during the 2018 edition of Paris-Roubaix.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts", the Veranda's Willems team said in a statement posted on Twitter. It added that he "died of cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail". He was then attended by a medical team and appeared to receive CPR.

The Slovakian accelerated 55km from the finish line at the Roubaix Velodrome to catch the day's breakaway riders and beat Silvan Dillier in a sprint finish to win the one-day, 257km race. His most significant result this season was 20th at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

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The Paris-Roubaix, which is one of the oldest bike rides in the world, is famous for rough terrain and challenging cobblestones. "I'm exhausted after this race but not as exhausted as in previous years when I didn't win it for some reasons", Sagan said.

"Sagan is an angel and devil in the same person - an angel because he took me with him and a devil because I had to go man-to-man with him".

It was a second prestigious "Monument" one-day classic success for Sagan, who won the Tour of Flanders in 2016 and has three consecutive world titles.

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"It's really nice to win this race with the world champion jersey".

Paris-Roubaix, which is known as the "Hell of the North", is regarded as one of the toughest races in cycling, featuring 29 cobbled sections.

Terpstra, whose Quick-Step team had been expected to dominate the race, said nothing could have been done to stop the Slovak.

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