Cycling pays tribute to young Antoine Demoitie

The Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider has died in hospital following a horror crash at the 2016 Ghent-Wevelgem.

Cycling pays tribute to young Antoine Demoitie
Demoitie has passed away after his crash on Sunday. (Photo: BBC Sport)

Riders, teams and fans have all been paying tribute to the late Antoine Demoitie, who died on Sunday after an incident involving a motorcycle at the 2016 Ghent-Wevelgem race.

Announced late Sunday night, many have woken to the news this morning that they had feared when the incident happened and since, the deluge of tributes to the 25-year-old have come from all over the world.

Demoite was being treated in a hospital in Lille, France, with his Wanty-Groupe Gobert team confirming that he passed with his wife and family by his side.

Tributes pour in

Teammate and close friend Gaetan Bille, who has been riding the Volta a Catalunya this week, has described the young Belgian as being a "hero to the end" after saving three lives following a subsequent organ donation, whilst British teammate Mark McNally has expressed that he is lost for words after the news of the passing.

Cycling's top stars, including the holding Tour De France winner Chris Froome and fellow Brit Mark Cavendish, have paid their tributes to the man who only took part in an event in Cycling's highest level for the first time at last Friday's E3 Harelbeke.

As well as the sport's most influential figures paying their condolences, the teams that shape it are too, with Team Katusha tweeting: "Thoughts and big hugs for Team Wanty Gobert, family and friends of Antoine Demoitie. The peloton is one family. It hurts so much."

Time for action

The UCI must take action on such incidents, otherwise "cycling is living by the law of the jungle," says former professional and union president Cedric Vasseur.

Collisions between motorbikes and riders has become a familiar sight in the sport. One example of many similar incidents includes ​Stig Broeckx ​of Lotto-Soudal ​being hit by a medical motorbike in the 2016 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne earlier this year.

These two occurrences follow on from several car and motorbike incidents in 2015, including those in the Tour of Flanders, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.