The cycling community has been rocked by the tragic death of a 19-year-old rider during a race.
Stef Loos died after he was hit by a van during the Alfred Gadenne Grand Prix in Belgium.
The 19-year-old was one of three riders involved in the accident, and died in hospital afterwards.
Jef Roberts, Chairman of Loos’ Acrog-Pauwels Sauzen-Balen team, said: “Very tragic news. Our rider Stef Loos, a promising rider with the team, was the victim of a severe accident.
“Together with two other riders, Stef was hit by a van and suffered serious injuries.”
Roberts said a group of riders were sent in the wrong direction by an official before colliding with the van.
“A group of three riders was sent incorrectly by a signalman,” he said.
“At a crossroads that wasn’t secured, they were driven into the side by a van.”
According to reports, the riders were sent straight when the course veered right.
They then rode towards an unguarded intersection, where the crash occurred.
Robert added: “Stef had been with us for years and was very popular.”
The cycling community in Belgium suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Stef Loos. The thoughts of everyone at Belgian Cycling are with his family, friends and team-mates at this sad time. pic.twitter.com/1E6GO0SX20
— Belgian Cycling (@BELCycling) March 18, 2019
Ruben Apers and Jonas Bresseleers were the other riders involved in the accident.
Apers suffered several fractures in his thigh and collarbone.
Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reports police have opened an investigation into the circumstances of the crash.
Just heard the News on @Eurosport_UK about the sad news of Stef Loos passing , really sad news , love & respect to Family – Love ones & Team members 😢😢🇧🇪
— Ridley67 (@Sundayracing67) March 18, 2019
My heart was already heavy then I saw the awful news about Stef Loos.
The world is just a lot.
— natalie (@brassyn) March 18, 2019
So sad. RIP Stef Loos 🙁 https://t.co/RnupK3DqPh
— Uitgever Culinaire Tour (@CulinaireTour) March 18, 2019
After a terrible accident yesterday, the Belgian U23 rider Stef Loos (19 years) passed away. We want to express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and the whole Acrog Pauwels team. Our @LS_U23 rider @Ruben_Apers was also badly injured, but he is out of danger now. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/tddQJTW7Vp
— Lotto Soudal (@Lotto_Soudal) March 18, 2019
— Re Claim (@ReClaimIns) March 18, 2019
My heart goes out to all who know and love Stef Loos. 💔 https://t.co/zdnIk9Jbu6
— Nina (@NinaSeventeen) March 18, 2019
RIP Stef Loos; devastating news of a young rider passing away during a race. Wishing also a good recovery to all the riders involved in this horrific crash and to our @Lotto_Soudal young rider @Ruben_Apers . Get wel soon Ruben. https://t.co/UXJwd5QkpP
— John Lelangue (@johnlelangue) March 18, 2019