Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies after heart attack during Paris-Roubaix

The two riders then maintained a gap between themselves and a chase group, with Sagan winning the sprint against Dillier in the Roubaix velodrome to net a landmark victory.

Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts has died after suffering a cardiac arrest during Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, his team have announced.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts", the team statement said. "I'm exhausted after this race but not as exhausted as in previous years when I didn't win it for some reasons", Sagan said.

Today he made his main attack 54km from the finish.

Goolaerts had been airlifted to hospital after collapsing about 150 kilometres from the finish.

"All the thoughts and prayers of the @BORAhansgrohe team and myself are with Michael Goolaerts". "We kindly ask to refrain from speculation as we wait for an update on his situation".

Dutch rider Niki Terpstra, who won the Tour of Flanders last week and the 2014 edition of Paris-Roubaix, completed the podium.

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The Belgian crashed on the Briastre cobble sector with just over 150km remaining in the race.

However, Sagan's win was overshadowed by a crash involving the Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts, who was taken to a hospital after receiving CPR treatment on the side of the road.

"I'm exhausted following this race", Sagan, the first rider as Frenchman Bernard Hinault to triumph here as a world champion, said.

"Sometimes attack is the best defence", Sagan said before the race, as quoted by Sme.

"I feel incredible", said Sagan, as quoted by the BBC.

The 257-kilometer race, called the "Hell of the North", includes 29 sections of cobblestones, which require special control of the bicycle and more effort than a usual road race.

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