Netherlands, deceased aged only 40 Lieuwe Westra

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Lieuwe Westra he passed away at the age of 40. The Dutchman, professional from 2009 to 2016 with the jerseys of Vacansoleil and Astana, was found unconscious yesterday afternoon in his commercial activity in Zwaagdijk. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Westra was a talented rider who, however, never got the desired results. In his career he has achieved thirteen successes, including two national time trial titles and stages at the Paris-Nice, at the Dauphine Tour and at the Volta a Catalunya, proving to be one of the most valuable supporters in the service of Vincenzo Nibali at the 2014 Tour de France, in particular in the stage of the pavé.

A racer as powerful in the saddle as he is fragile away from the bike, in his recent autobiography he had admitted, in addition to the use of drugs that have conditioned him since before his passage among the professionals, that he had suffered from mental disorders and depression during his career, terminated early due to depressive episodes. Thus he canceled the three-year contract that he had signed with Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert starting in 2017, trying to find a new path for his life. He had also opened a hotel in Spain, called Casa Ciclismo, a structure which however had closed its doors definitively last October.

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“He’s fought with himself over the years and lost,” journalist Thomas Sijtsma, with whom he wrote his autobiography ‘The Beast’, wrote at the time of breaking the news. Lieuwe Westra’s cycling life in 2018 – There was a beast in his head that he couldn’t drive away”.

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