Tributes paid to brilliant cyclist after death in Tenerife
One of Europe’s most talented cyclists, Joren Touquet has died whilst on holiday in Tenerife, just three years after his teammate Daan Myngheer died during a race in France.
The 26-year-old Belgian, who was an amateur but competed with a professional team, is understood to have died in his bed whilst sleeping. He suffered a cardiac arrest, just like Daan Mynheer in March 2016. He was discovered by his girlfriend when she woke up in their holiday home.
The young rider was part of the Decock-Van Eyck-Devos Capoen team which has expressed its devastation, saying: “The new has hit us like a bomb!”
Two years ago, Touquet won the Omloop van de Westhoek in Ichtegem and last year he was eighth in the Belgian national championship.
He had been inactive in recent months because after medical tests, it was discovered that his right ventricle turned out to be a little larger than the left and he was going to be operated at the beginning of next month to correct the problem.
“But he never made it,” said fellow rider Rik Roose.
He continued with his love of cycling by helping the team as a mechanic and first aider.
Touquet died in Tenerife on June 17th. His teammates were currently competing in a regional race in Flanders and wanted to withdraw though the decision was then taken to continue in his honour and try to win it for him.
Rik Roose announced the death on the team’s Twitter site “with sadness and a great deal of regret.”
“Teammate, classmate and very good friend Joren Touquet pass away unexpectedly !! News hit like a bomb …….Our thoughts first and foremost go to the Joren family, whom we wish a lot of strength in this difficult period …. RIP Joren , it was an honour to be a team leader for you ! We will never forget you,” he wrote.
Tributes have been pouring in from friends, one of whom tweeted: “It’s terrible and it happens to the best people” whilst another posted: “A remarkable talent who will settle up among the many lost athletes.”