Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitie killed after colliding with motorbike during race

Demoitie was taken to hospital in Lille after the accident in Sainte Marie-Cappel, northern France, but died later

BY Newstalk 08:59 Monday 28 March 2016, 8:59 28 Mar 2016

©INPHO/James Crombie

A cyclist has died after he was struck by a motorbike during a race in Belgium.

Police said Antoine Demoitie, 25, was hit as several riders crashed out of the Gent-Wevelgem race on Sunday.

He was taken to hospital in Lille after the accident in Sainte Marie-Cappel, northern France, but died later.

Frederic Evrard, spokesman for the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional police in France, said in a statement that "an inquiry is under way to determine the circumstances". 

Demoitie's team, Wanty-Gobert, posted a tribute on social media on Monday morning.

On Sunday night the team had tweeted that the rider's wife and family were at his bedside in hospital.

Colleagues from the world of cycling paid tribute to the cyclist, including two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso, who tweeted: "R.I.P Antoine Demoitié. Horrible day. Sport should never come to this."

The 151-mile (243km), one-day race was won by the current world road race champion, Peter Sagan of Slovakia.

Lotto Soudal rider Jens Debusschere was also taken to hospital after crashing during the notoriously gruelling race.

His team confirmed he suffered a "bruised muscle, a bruised junction between collar bone and shoulder blade, a concussion and abrasions".

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