The Frenchman confirmed reports that the Belgian rider was hit by a race official’s motorbike after four riders crashed together on the left hand side of the road. Jurdie immediately realised the accident was serious and saw Demoitié lying in a fetal position but confirmed that a race ambulance was quickly on the scene.
“I waited until the morning to go to the l’Equipe website to read about Antoine Demoitié’s death. On my way home I didn’t want to have confirmation of what I already suspected,” Jurdie explained emotionally to French newspaper l’Equipe.
“We were three cars behind the group. It wasn’t a particularly nervous point in the race and we were spread out on the road. We didn’t stop but we immediately saw the panic on the faces of the people there. We checked one of our riders wasn’t involved and continued in the race. The ambulance was just behind us but we knew it was a dramatic situation.”
According to several reports, the four riders involved in the crash were Demoitié, his Italian teammate Simone Antonini, Jonas Ahlstrand (Cofidis) of Sweden and Italy’s Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida).
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Demoitié was initially taken to hospital in Ypres, before being quickly transferred to the intensive care unit of the university hospital in Lille due to the gravity of his condition.
After Gent-Wevelgem finished on Sunday evening, the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team issued an update on social media describing Demoitié’s condition as “extremely serious” and reporting that his wife and family had come to the hospital in Lille. Shortly after midnight local time, French news agency AFP reported that Demoitié had died as a result of his injuries.
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