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Caisse d'Epargne sprinter Isaac Galvez died early on Sunday morning as a result of head injuries he sustained during a crash in the last Madison event on the fifth night of the Gent Six in Belgium. The 31-year-old Spaniard, who won the world Madison title earlier this year, collided with Belgium's Dmitri de Fauw and is reported to have gone head-first into the barriers on the top side of the Gent track.
Procycling photographer Pete Goding, who has been at the event this weekend, said it was immediately clear that the Spaniard's injuries were serious. "They put a screen around him on the track and were clearly trying to resuscitate him. Nobody really knew what was going on, there was a lot of running back and forth of officials to and from the track centre and eventually an ambulance arrived to take Galvez to hospital. He seemed like he was still unconscious when they carried him away," said Goding.
Galvez is reported to have died on the way to Gent University Hospital. The organisers of the Gent success immediately announced the cancellation of the rest of the event out of respect for Galvez and the other riders competing, including the Spaniard's partner for the event, Juan Llaneras.
One of Spain's top sprinters and a regular leading performer on the track, Galvez was part of Caisse d'Epargne's team at this year's Tour de France. Team manager Eusebio Unzue expressed his shock on hearing the news and told Spanish news agency Efe that Galvez had been married "just two weeks ago".
I was talking to him just a couple of days ago," said Unzue. "We were chatting about the calendar for next season, taking into account that he wanted to take part in the World Track Championships in Majorca. We were discussing what would be the best form of preparation for that event, which races would suit him best, and now look what we are talking about."
Galvez's team-mate and Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro said he would "remember Isaac as he was on the last day of the Tour de France, calling me a little star. We got on really well together even though we had only been on the team together for a year," said Pereiro.
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