20-year-old Belgian rider Bjarne Vanacker found dead after passing away in his sleep

The cause of Bjarne Vanacker's death is still to be confirmed Bjarne Vanacker/Twitter

Cause of death unknown for promising young rider

Promising Belgian amateur rider Bjarne Vanacker has been found dead at his home in Torhout after apparently dying in his sleep last night.

The 20-year-old rider from the EFC-L&R-Vulsteke team – a development team for Trek-Segafredo – died overnight, with the cause of death yet to be confirmed and team manager Michel Pollentier telling Focus WTV that medical tests had never detected any underlying health conditions in Vanacker.

Despite only turning 20 in May, Vanacker had achieved a string of impressive results at under-23 level, including 10th in the U23 Paris-Roubaix and 15th in the Piccolo Giro di Lombardia. His final victory came a kermesse in Nieuwpoort in July, where he led home a 1-2-3-4 for his EFC-L&R-Vulsteke team.

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He also showed promise in stage races, finishing just outside the top 20 in the general classification of two prestigious U23 stage races: the Giro della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc and the Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux.

Vanacker’s most recent race had been the under-23 edition of Paris-Tours, where he finished in 44th place.