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But the tragic incident has raised further questions over the safety of riders among other race vehicles like cars and motorbikes, particularly after several incidents of riders colliding with race vehicles a year ago, and an incident at the 2016 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne which saw Lotto-Soudal's Stig Broeckx taken out by a motorbike.

Demoitie, 25, was taken to the ICU at a hospital in Lille, France.

The Wanty team had described Demoitie's condition as "extremely serious" in a statement after he was rushed to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Lille.

Colleagues from the world of cycling paid tribute to the cyclist, including two-time Giro d'Italia victor Ivan Basso, who tweeted: "R.I.P Antoine DemoitiƩ".

"The rider died", said Frederic Evrard, a spokesman for the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional police told AFP.

The motorcycle reportedly struck Demoitie after he had fallen from his bike.

Bugno said: "About the awful accident that caused the death of the rider Antoine Demoitie during the Gent-Wevelgem race, the CPA and all the riders demand to shed immediate light on the accident and the circumstances that have caused it as well as on any of the responsible involved parties".

The 243 kilometre race, which starts and ends in Belgium, was won by world road race champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia.