Lieuwe Westra, a former Dutch pro, died at the age of 40. His biographer, Thomas Sijtsma, said Sunday morning that the news was true.
“Lieuwe Westra” died in the afternoon on Saturday. “In the last few years, the former cyclist fought with himself and lost,” Sijtsma wrote. “Go to sleep, beast.”
Westra quit his job at the beginning of 2017 because he was depressed. Since then, he has had some hard times, like getting divorced and selling the cycling hotel he built with his ex-wife.
Zaterdagmiddag is Lieuwe Westra (40) overleden. De voormalig wielrenner vocht de laatste jaren met zichzelf en verloor.
Rust zacht, Beest. pic.twitter.com/hsVgWZQQNJ
— Thomas Sijtsma (@ThomasSijtsma) January 15, 2023
He was found dead Saturday in Zwaagdijk, the Netherlands. The cause of death is still unknown. Westra, who was known as “The Beast,” raced for 11 years with Vacansoleil and Astana and had won 13 races by the turn of the last decade.
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On his palmarès, he has won stages at Paris-Nice, the Tour of California, and the Critérium du Dauphiné. He has also won the overall Tour of Denmark and the Driedaagse De Panne. The strong rider from Mûnein also helped Vincenzo Nibali win the yellow jersey at the 2014 Tour de France.
So sad and difficult to read this news. Rest in peace Lieuwe. https://t.co/8AUM4XNVKo
— Koen de Kort (@koendekort) January 15, 2023
After he retired, Westra wrote a full biography called Het Beest. In it, he talked about the times he did drugs. Pro cyclists have already started to pay tribute, including his former teammate Johnny Hoogerland.
“Lieuwe, my friend. What happened to you all these years? We are so terribly sad that your life ended already today. I’m very sorry that we could not help you more. Will never forget what you did for me when we were teammates, Hoogerland wrote. Find peace above us.
RIP ♥︎ Lieuwe .
— STEVEN DE JONGH (@stevendejongh) January 15, 2023
Sterkte aan familie en vrienden. Rust zacht Lieuwe. https://t.co/ZCR2PZdjUj
— Sven Nys (@sven_nys) January 15, 2023
Stay tuned to our website Nogmagazine.com for more updates.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.