I got some sad news two days ago, as I found out that former world champion Claude Criquielion, 58, had suffered a “serious stroke”. Today, I heard that he had passed away. It is very sad.
"At the request of the family, we will inform you with sadness that Mr. Claude Criquielion died today at 9am in the General Municipal Hospital, campus in Aalst at the age of 58 as a result of a severe brain haemorrhage,” read the hospital’s statement.
“The family also agreed to implement an organ donation procedure. No further statements will be made by the hospital or by the family."
Criquielion rode professionally from 1979 until 1991. Throughout his career, he was a consistent winner. In 1984, he won the World championships ahead of Claudio Corti (Italy) and Steve Bauer (Canada).
He also finished ninth in his debut Tour de France in 1979, where he also finished second in the white jersey competition to current Europcar team mananger, Jean-René Bernaudeau. In 1980 and 1981, he finished second again in the white jersey competition at Tour de France.
One year later, he finished third in the Vuelta a Espana.
Criquielion was successful in the one day races as well, with victories in the Tour of Flanders, Flèche Brabançonne, Flèche Wallonne, San Sebastian.
Airgas-Safeway's Chris Horner may compete in some cyclo-cross races next fall. He is interested in trying.
"I'm working it out with Marin Bikes right now to set up some 'cross stuff, and we'll see how much Airgas-Safeway as a whole, because I think there are a few kids who do it, too, wants to get involved,” Horner said.
Horner lives in Bend, Oregon, which has hosted the national cyclo-cross championships multiple times. And the Cyclo-Cross Crusade series are hosted in Oregon. The series brings in 1,200-1,500 competitors each race for its amateur and pro events.
“I've got a new big RV rig, so if the kids want to come we've got a place to stay at the races,” Horner said. “We've got a place to stay warm, get it going good and put on a show for the fans. I like doing 'cross.”
Today, Ivan Basso will make his Tinkoff-Saxo debut. He will ride the Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta Ciclista Del Sol in support of Alberto Contador.
"Since the moment I joined Tinkoff-Saxo, my ambition has been to reach the start of the season with all forces available to provide my best for the team," Basso said. "I'm very happy to kick off the season by the side of our extraordinary captain, Alberto Contador. I think we are at a very good level right now, as a group, and personally I feel very good."
Later this year, Basso will be at Contador's side during the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France so for sure, this is a good chance to see how the training they have done this off-season works out.
"I am convinced we have given our best this winter. We’ve given thorough attention to every detail and I think these efforts will pay off. I feel ready to take up the challenge and help Albert to reach the goal we have in Ruta del Sol, which is basically to win," Basso said.