A 53-year-old man died in 100+ degree heat at the 25th edition of the cyclosportive Ariège on Saturday in the French Pyrenees.
The rider was riding the 80km “La Montagnole” route when he collapsed after 61km. Despite the intervention of a doctor, who was riding with the rider, and paramedics the rider could not be revived.
“Like all the participants in this sporting event, he had provided the organizers with a recent medical certificate, attesting to the absence of any clinical sign against the practice of cycling in competition”, says the public prosecutor of Foix, Laurent Dumaine in a statement. “The deceased did not practice any particular pathology, was athletic, regularly followed by a doctor and had a healthy lifestyle,” adding that the victim had already participated in Ariège, “several times”.
As temperatures climbed to 109F (43C), the organizers of Ariégeoise made the decision to cancel the event mid-ride “due to too many heat-related illnesses.”
Many riders suffered heat stroke and had to be rescued. Bursting tires on step downhill sections were also commonplace due to extreme road temperature and heavy braking.
One rider crashed on the descent of the Port of Lers towards Auzat and was airlifted to a hospital by helicopter. His condition is unknown.