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Cycling: Death of a French Cyclist in the Tour of New Caledonia

CYCLING: A young cyclist of 20 years, Matthew Riebel, died and another was injured Friday on the roads of the Tour of New Caledonia, in an accident with an ambulance, said the organizers of the event.

A young cyclist of 20 years, Matthew Riebel, died and another was injured Friday on the roads of the Tour of New Caledonia, in an accident with an ambulance, said the organizers of the event. Erwan Brenterch teammate Mathieu Riebel, suffering a broken leg and was evacuated to the hospital. The accident occurred on the descent of the Col de la Pirogue in Paita, common device of the capital Noumea. The race was stopped due to the drama.

The accidental death of Mathieu Riebel, a French cyclist of 20 years on the road of the Tour of New Caledonia on Friday in a collision with an ambulance brought sadness in the archipelago, where the race was stopped, organizers said. “The Tour is over. Tomorrow, the peloton will make a tour of Mont-Dore (outside Noumea) without race to honor Matthew Riebel, who was so happy to be here, “ he told AFP, Gérard Salaün, president of the Regional Committee cycling and figure of the discipline in New Caledonia.

“It’s awful, a boy of 20 years … He asked me yesterday to extend his stay in Caledonia”, he added. According to preliminary information, the accident occurred Friday morning at the penultimate stage of this trial of 870 kilometers of Stone, in the descent of the Col de la Pirogue in Paita, about thirty kilometers from Noumea. “He had stopped with its leader, Erwan Brenterch, third overall, because of a mechanical problem. They changed bike and suddenly delayed “ , M. Salaün said.

To catch up with the peloton, riders accelerated and Mathieu Riebel would cut a shift “to about 80 km/h” before striking an ambulance coming from the opposite direction. Traffic was interrupted but not locked, according to reports, still to be confirmed. The cyclist was killed instantly in this tragedy, while his team-mate Erwan Brenterch fell and broke a leg. He was evacuated to Noumea hospital and the ambulance was also damaged in the accident.

“He was a hope of cycling”

“Mathieu Riebel (which belongs to the team Bourget VAC fans, note) was a senior for the last two years, and  was a hope of cycling” , also said Gérard Salaün. The government of New Caledonia in a statement expressed its “astonishment and deep sorrow” , expressing condolences “to the family and relatives of the young athlete”.

The elected representatives of the Southern Province and the town of Paita also paid tribute to the young athlete. “It’s really tragic. It is at the end of the world to have fun and learn the death of a friend. There is nothing worse, there are no words “ , for his part said the cyclist on 1st NC Mathieu Urbain, friend of Mathieu Riebel, engaged in the race.



This was the 47th edition of the Tour of New Caledonia, which began on October 13 with sixty local and international riders on the start line.

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