The tragedies Demoitié (2016) and Goris (2012)
A double scar. The wounds are healed, but the pain still resonates. The team has known a lot of happiness and big successes. But unfortunately the team was also tormented by major setbacks. Exceptionally sad incidents staying in the memories of all people having a warm heart for the Walloon team and loving cycling.
The loss of two of its riders: Antoine Demoitié and Rob Goris. Both died in the prime of their lives. Both were hit by fate just like several other talented riders the last couple of years, with each time immense sadness for the whole team.
On 27th of March 2016 Antoine Demoitié was the victim of a fatal accident. The young Walloon rider lost his life on the roads of Ghent-Wevelgem. After hundred kilometer of racing he was involved in a crash with other riders. But when he wanted to stand up, he was hit by a motorbike. He was transferred to the hospital of Lille, but Toine could not be rescued. An unlucky combination of circumstances led to his death at the age of 25.
Since then, the team is racing with the moto Ride for Antoine. Two of the major successes of the team were later linked to Antoine Demoitié. First, the victory of Enrico Gasparotto in the Amstel Gold Race, only three weeks after the tragedy. At the end of an emotional day, the Italian rider offered the team of Jean-François Bourlart a first victory in a World Tour classic. Exactly six years after the loss of the rider from Liège, Biniam Girmay took the victory in the same event. Very symbolic.
Almost four years earlier, the team already experienced a first tragedy when Rob Goris had a heart attack on 5th of July 2012, at the age of 30. Rob Goris converted from a hockey player to a cyclist, conquering a pro status in the team of Jean-François Bourlart thanks to a Belgian title in the amateur category. After an appearance in an episode of Vive le Vélo during the Tour de France, Goris fell down in front of his girlfriend in his hotel room in Honfleur.