February 5, 2009, exactly ten years ago, the cycling world woke up to the news that the 21-year-old cyclist Frederiek Nolf in his sleep was death by heart failure.
The news hit like a bomb. Nolf was a cheerful young man that anyone could find. He was only in his second year as a pro started and was an all-round rider with a love for the eendagswerk and the kasseiklassiekers.
Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator drove that particular week of the Tour of Qatar. On 5 February he got in the team, however. Frederiek Nolf was in the morning not be awake when sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx. the riders went to wake up. “I went that morning, the riders wake up, which is uncommon, but due to circumstances had to that tomorrow. I felt his body and came to the constatatie that Frederiek had died.” His former roommate, the late Kristof Goddaert, had nothing noticed. Goddaert died 5 years later, on 18 February, after a trainingsongeluk.
The news hit the cycling world stunned. The race was neutralized, and the news was told to the rest of the team to the races in the Star of Bessèges. “Some day you will live in a big haze,” recalls Heynderickx.. “When you’re in such a group you can try everything a little bit of your to keep together as much as possible.” The team left Qatar, and the competition in Bessèges. “We got to the hotel a separate room where we are with the riders and the staff went together for them to be able to talk. That we found very important.”
10 years later, think Heynderickx. much of what happened. “The closer 5 February, the more I have to think. That day, I will always continue to, it is as if the last week it happened. This morning I also with the parents of Frederiek called. It is often said that pain wears out, but for them remains very difficult. It is a wound which every year re-open.”