Lieuwe Westra dead at 40: Tributes paid to ex-cycling and Tour de France star after being found unresponsive at work | The Sun

FORMER Tour de France star Lieuwe Westra has died at the age of 40.

The Dutchman passed away on Saturday after being found unresponsive at his business premises in Zwaagdijk, Holland.

CPR was performed on him but he was unable to be resuscitated.

The cyclist’s biographer Thomas Sijtsma confirmed the news last night as a host of tributes soon poured in for the late ace.

A Twitter post from him read: "The former cyclist fought with himself in recent years and lost. Rest in peace, beast."

His ex-Vacansoleil teammate Johnny Hoogerland tweeted: "Lieuwe my friend. What happened to you the last years? We are so terribly sad that your life ended already today.


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"I'm very sorry that we could not help you more. Will never forget what you did for me when we were teammates. Find your rest above us."

Enrico Gasparotto, a former Astana teammate, wrote: "Rest in peace Lieuwe. One of the most loyal teammates, a man with a big heart!!"

One fan tweeted: "RIP Lieuwe Westra. What a tragedy. He was a 90kg techno raver and road painter in his early twenties till he started riding again and entered the WorldTour at the age of 26, and beat the best at Paris-Nice. He showed that nothing is impossible."

Another commented: "So incredibly saddened to hear news of the passing of Lieuwe Westra. Life is not always an easy ride. May he find peace."

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While a fellow cyclist wrote: "Such terribly sad news. Lieuwe Westra gone too soon amigo. Life can be so terribly cruel, I hope you’re at peace now."

Westra was nicknamed the “The Beast” during his impressive career.

He raced for both Vacansoleil and Astana during an eight-year spell in the peloton.

He retired with 13 wins on his palmarres in January 2017.

Westra was due to race for Wanty-Gobert that year but instead abruptly announced that he was calling time on his career aged 34.

He went on to run a cycling hotel in Spain and would later reveal he was battling depression after stopping racing.

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