Cyclist Andre Drege dies in crash during Tour of Austria

Norwegian cyclist Andre Drege has died in an accident during the Tour of Austria.

The 25-year-old suffered fatal injuries in a fall while descending the Grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain.

A statement from the organisers read: "It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of Andre Drege.

"On Saturday 6 July, following a very serious crash during the descent of the Grossglockner at stage four of the Tour of Austria, Andre crashed and sustained severe injuries.

"Our entire team is devastated by this tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers are with Andre's family and loved ones and his team Coop-Repsol during this incredibly difficult time."

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Local police told Norwegian TV 2 the crash was an "accident" and it was investigating the cause.

The post-race presentations were cancelled out of respect following the incident.

Drege, who had been with Norwegian team Coop-Repsol since 2021, had won seven races this year and was tipped to move up to WorldTour level next year.

His team said it was "devastated" by his death and that its "thoughts and prayers" were with his family and loved ones.

"Andre's family has requested privacy as they mourn their loss, and we kindly ask that their wishes are respected," it said.

Cycling's world governing body, the UCI, also paid tribute and said its thoughts were with Drege's family, friends and teammates.

Other professional teams joined the tributes, including Lidl-Trek, which described the news as "heartbreaking".

EF Pro Cycling wrote: "A loss felt in the entire cycling community. Our thoughts are with the friends, family and team-mates of Andre Drege. Rest in peace, Andre."

It is not yet clear whether the final stage of the race will take place on Sunday.

The penultimate stage over the Grossglockner to Kals in East Tyrol was won by Italian Filippo Ganna.

Drege is the latest professional rider to die in competition following the death of Swiss cyclist Gino Mader last year at the Tour de Suisse.

Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt was killed in a crash while on a descent at the Giro d'Italia in May 2011.