Michael Goolaerts

Michael Goolaerts (Dutch: [ˈɣoːlaːrts]; 24 July 1994 – 8 April 2018) was a Belgian cyclist who rode for Vérandas Willems–Crelan.[1] During the 2018 Paris–Roubaix, Goolaerts suffered cardiac arrest. He was airlifted to a hospital in Lille, where he died hours later.[2][3]

Michael Goolaerts
Denain - Grand Prix de Denain, 13 avril 2017 (B071).JPG
Goolaerts in 2017
Personal information
Born(1994-07-24)24 July 1994
Lier, Belgium
Died8 April 2018(2018-04-08) (aged 23)
Lille, France
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight80 kg (176 lb)
Team information
Amateur teams
2013Verandas Willems (stagiaire)
2015–2016Lotto–Soudal U23
2016Lotto–Soudal (stagiaire)
Professional teams
2014Verandas Willems
2017–2018Vérandas Willems–Crelan


Goolaerts was born in Lier and grew up in Hallaar, Heist-op-den-Berg, where he became a member of the Balen Bicycle Club.[4] He won the provincial individual time trial championship title of Antwerp in the newcomers category in 2010.[5] He also won the individual time trial championship title in the juniors category in 2011.[6] In 2012, he was part of the teams that won Belgian national junior championship titles in the team pursuit[7] and the team sprint.[8] That year he also finished eighth in the junior version of the Tour of Flanders.[8]

He joined the Verandas Willems team as a stagiaire in the second half of 2013, and went on to secure a full-time contract with the team the following year. In 2015 he joined Lotto-Soudal's development team.[8]

Goolaerts joined Lotto–Soudal as a stagiaire, starting on 1 August 2016, before rejoining the now UCI Professional Continental team Vérandas Willems–Crelan for the 2017 season. He made his debut in the Étoile de Bessèges,[9] and had a top-10 position in the GP Briek Schotte.[10] That year he also made the early breakaways in the Tour of Flanders, where he remained in the front group for over 200 km, Halle–Ingooigem, where his performance earned the praise of Tom Boonen,[8] and Paris-Tours.[11] At the start of the 2018 season he placed ninth in Dwars door West–Vlaanderen.[12]

On 8 April 2018, Goolaerts started in his first Paris–Roubaix. On the second cobbled sector, at Briastre, after 109 km of racing, he suffered cardiorespiratory arrest and lay unresponsive on the ground.[2] He was resuscitated by paramedics and transferred by helicopter to CHRU-Hospital in Lille.[13][14] He died later that evening.[3] An autopsy concluded that he had suffered a cardiac arrest before he fell from his bike.[15]

In May 2018 it was announced that the cobbled section where he crashed would be renamed the "Secteur Pavé Michael Goolaerts" in his honour, and that his family would be invited to unveil a monument at the site of his fall the following month.[14]

Major resultsEdit

As of April 2018[1][8]

1st   Team sprint, National Junior Track Championships
8th Junior Tour of Flanders
4th Paris–Chauny
1st Stage 1 Tour du Loir-et-Cher
9th Nationale Sluitingprijs
9th Dwars door West–Vlaanderen

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Michael Goolaerts". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Paris-Roubaix: Michael Goolaerts dies after crash". 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b "Michael Goolaerts dies following cardiac arrest at Paris-Roubaix". Cyclingnews. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ Van Den Langenbergh, Guy. "RIP Michael Goolaerts: De dag dat woorden tekort schieten". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Mediahuis. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Provincial Championship Antwerpen, Road, ITT, Novices, Belgium 2010". Cycling Archives. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Provincial Championship Antwerpen, Road, ITT, Juniors, Belgium 2011". Cycling Archives. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  7. ^ "National Championship, Track, Team Pursuit, Juniors, Belgium 2012". Cycling Archives. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e Fletcher, Patrick (9 April 2018). "Michael Goolaerts - Obituary". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Etoile de Besseges: Arnaud Demare sprints to stage 1 victory". Cyclingnews. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  10. ^ "GP Memorial Briek Schotte - Desselgem". nieuwsblad. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Matteo Trentin wins Paris-Tours from late attack". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  12. ^ "2018 Dwars door West-Vlaanderen". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Goolaerts suffers cardiac arrest at Paris-Roubaix". CyclingNews.com. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  14. ^ a b Robertshaw, Henry (31 May 2018). "Secteur Pavé Michael Goolaerts: Paris-Roubaix remembers fallen rider by renaming cobbled sector". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Goolaerts suffered heart attack before crash: autopsy". AFP. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Michael Goolaerts at Wikimedia Commons