• Country

Hundreds Pay Tribute to Bjorg Lambrecht at Funeral Service in His Hometown

By Monica Buck

The 22-year-old Lotto-Soudal rider suffered a fall while competing in the Tour de Pologne last week. Bjorg collided with a concrete culvert and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, the doctors couldn’t save him. The funeral service was held at the Saint-Willibord Church in the East Flemish village of Knesselare.

A number of Bjorg’s cycling friends, including Jelle Vanendert, Tiesj Benoot and André Greipel, carried the coffin inside the crowded church. Hundreds of people stayed outside and watched the service on a big screen.

The 22-year-old Belgian cyclist from Lotto-Soudal died after crashing into a concrete culvert during the third stage of the 2019 Tour de Pologne. © Profimedia, EPA

During the ceremony, Bjorg’s parents read letters to their deceased son. “We have experienced so much,” his mother said in tears. “Seen so much, experienced so much, driven so much, travelled. We are so grateful to you, you have given us so much. The emptiness you leave behind is unbearable.”

“This is a big loss,” said Lotto-Soudal team manager Marc Sargeant to Sporza. “It will take a long time before we process it. In any case, Bjorg will stay with us in the team forever.”

Lotto riders raced wearing black wristbands at the ongoing BinckBank Tour, and the peloton will observe a minute’s silence on Wednesday’s stage 3.