Irish amateur cyclist Pat Coyle has died while competing in the Tour of Flanders cycling event in Belgium on Saturday.
According to Belgium news agencies, the 56-year-old became unwell and collapsed during the race, which was the 14th time he had entered the annual event.
Coyle’s 29-year-old son was taking part in the race for the fourth time, but the deceased collapsed while ascending the notoriously difficult hill Oude Kwaremont, around 25 kilometres from the finish line.
By that point, the Athlone native – who represented Shannonside Cycling Club in Westmeath – had covered over 100km, but medical teams were unable to save him.
Over 16,000 cycling enthusiasts from all over the world take part in the amateur Tour of Flanders each year as it serves as a warm-up to the professional event.
Cycling Ireland, the national governing body for Irish cycling, have extended their condolences to Coyle’s family in the following statement.
Cycling Ireland would like to extend their condolences to the family of Pat Coyle of Shannonside CC, Athlone, who died at the Tour of Flanders Sportive in Belgium yesterday following a heart attack.
The tragedy occurred during the 227km event that attracts 16,000 riders, and is in its 25th year, an event in which he had participated many times.
Mr Coyle had been an active member of Shannonside Cycling Club, who was particularly committed to the development of the club, having been a key organiser in events like the Operation Transformation cycle in Athlone in 2015.