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Witness Speaks Out After Death of André Drege

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Witness Speaks Out After Death of André Drege


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The peloton rides Sunday in the shadow of the death of André Drege, the Norwegian talent who died in a descending crash at the Tour of Austria on Saturday.

The final stage day of the Austrian race will be neutralized, while a few borders over, the Tour de France will also pay its respects ahead of Sunday’s 9th stage.

The death of 25-year-old upcomer Drege – who was touted to turn WorldTour in 2025 with Jayco Alula – rocked the peloton Sunday, and tributes poured in across the cycling community.

Few details are known of the incident beyond reports that the Coop-Repsol climber had joined the leading group on one of Austria’s highest roads in the Grossglockner region when he fell.

Slovenian rider Primožič Jaka believes himself to be the sole witness of the racing tragedy.

“As the only witness I can’t explain how devastated I am,” Jaka wrote Saturday night on Instagram. “This should never happen. A crash which was nobody’s fault. I would give everything to change something so that [it] wouldn’t have happened.

“My thoughts are with his team and family,” he wrote. “Rest in peace, may cycling heaven be nice to you. I can’t say I knew you but we shared the same passion and I will continue so with carrying you in my heart forever [sic].

Officials at the Tour of Austria confirmed Sunday morning that a minutes’ silence would be held at the start of a neutralized final stage.

“Together with the sporting directors and riders of the teams, we have decided not to ride today’s stage and instead to hold a neutralized condolence ride in memory of André Drege,” race director Thomas Pupp said via social media.

“The memorial ride was the express wish of André’s father, his teammates and his entire team. It gives the entire cycling family the opportunity to come to terms with what happened and to honor André Drege’s memory. Our entire team is devastated by this tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers are with André’s family. His loved ones and his team Coop-Repsol at this incredibly difficult time.”

Over at the Tour de France, Sunday’s highly-hyped gravel stage will be raced as planned. However, Scandinavian team Uno X arrived early at the start in Troyes as a mark of respect and wore black armbands in recognition.

Tour de France leader Tadej Pogačar was among the scores of riders to pay tribute to Drege on Saturday.

“It’s hard to process what happened, we’re all quite in shock. This is very sad to hear. My condolences go to his family, teammates and all his loved ones,” Pogačar said.

“In the cycling world, we need to look around each other and take care of each other.”

 

 

 





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