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Then, a minute of silence for Goddaert was held at the start line, with his team mates from IAM Cycling standing at the front of the peloton, just before the vibrant applause broke under the gray sky and riders pedalled towards the cobbled...

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IAM CYCLING

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KRISTOF GODDAERT

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OMLOOP HET NIEUWSBLAD

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02.03.2014 @ 19:35 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

In the midst of the typical hustle and bustle concomitant with the official beginning of the cycling season in Belgium, traditionally opened by the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the riders of the professional peloton took time to commemorate recently deceased Kristof Goddaert with a minute of silence in front of his countryman in Ghent.

 

The start of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is regarded as an exceptionally joyous occasion, as one of the most cycling-loving nation is keen to welcome the new season, referring to both the cycling calendar and not always cooperative atmospheric conditions. Even though everything seemed to fall into the same scenario this time around, with the beer kiosks prospering perfectly well from early hours and riders admitting that the real business starts just now, the feeling of distinct sadness was present on the tenth day following Goddaert’s tragic accident.

 

The 27-years old Goddaert was meant to play an important role in the IAM Cycling-s team for cobbled classics, appointed to help his leaders Heinrich Haussler and Sylvain Chavanel as well as improve on his own results in the races that suited him best.

 

Even though the Belgian was already commemorated at the Tour of Oman just after the news about his tragic death had broke, it was understandably important to pay him one another tribute in his homeland, in front of his countryman.

 

“It’s a hard moment for the team but we’ll try to do well today. That would be a good way to honour Kristof,” Sylvain Chavanel said, as all IAM cycling riders stood together on the podium.

 

“It’s a special day. I didn’t have the chance top say goodbye, he left everyone so suddenly and tragically,” Haussler said, his voice raw.

“He was always happy, always laughing, always full gas, always telling jokes. He would have said to stop crying, go out in the race, attack and go full gas.”

 

Then, a minute of silence for Goddaert was held at the start line, with his team mates from IAM Cycling standing at the front of the peloton, just before the vibrant applause broke under the gray sky and riders pedalled towards the Flemish cobbled roads.

 

“For that minute, I’ll think of all the good memories with him. He’ll be riding with many riders today.” Tom Boonen said as he made his way to the start.

 

“But it remains sport. As soon as we’re racing, it’s different,” Belgian champion added.

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