Cycling News

Tour of Austria final stage cancelled after Andre Drege’s death

Tour of Austria final stage cancelled after Andre Drege’s death

Stage 5 of the Tour of Austria was cancelled in the wake of the death of Norwegian cyclist Andre Drege.
The final day of racing was 143.8 km from Kufstein to Kühtai, and was instead treated as a memorial ride to the 25-year-old cyclist. Drege crashed on the descent down the Grossglockner mountain on Saturday. Race organizers announced the news after the race. All post-race ceremonies were also cancelled.

Winner declared before memorial ride

As a result, Diego Ulissi of the UAE Emirates Team was presented with the leader’s jersey as the overall winner of the Tour of Austria. Ulissi’s teammate Felix Großschartner said it was the right decision not to race.

Andre Drege, 25, dead after crash at Tour of Austria

“The memorial ride was a very beautiful idea. It allowed us to pay our last respects to André, and we cyclists had the opportunity to process what happened together,” he said. “A race would have been impossible for me today! The most important thing in our sport is to reach the finish line healthy and to come back to your family. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and teammates.”

Requested by family and teammates

Tour director Thomas Pupp said that the idea for a memorial ride was from Drege’s father. “The memorial ride was the express wish of Andre’s father, his teammates and his entire team,” Pupp said. “It was our approach to suggest a condolence ride to André’s family, his team, and all the riders of the Tour. Ultimately, it was the wish of all involved that we give him an honourable farewell on the bike. I hope we were able to provide a dignified conclusion for him and the Tour of Austria. As beautiful as our fascinating sport is, the riders are often millimetres away from great danger. That the accident happened the way it did yesterday will stay with us for a very long time.”

The dangers of pro cycling

The Norwegian’s death was eerily similar to another tragedy in cycling in 2023. Gino Mäder died in a crash during a high-speed descent in Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, a little over a year ago. He was immediately hospitalized but could not be saved, and news of his death was announced just before Stage 6. The subsequent stage was also held as a memorial ride.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…