EXPIRED: 11/06/09 – Dimitri De Fauw, 28, was a Belgian track and road rider, who made a name for himself racing six-day track races during the European off-season.
He returned to Belgium from the Six-days of Grenoble in France and placed seventh in the competition with the Dane Marc Hester.
Iljo Keisse, another six-day rider and friend of De Fauw, drove back home with him and Gianni Meersman on Wednesday night. He seemed fine. The he didn’t.
De Fauw was mostly active on the track but also rode road races. He was with team Quick Step from 2003 to 2005 and moved to Chocolade Jacques in 2006.
Biking is a tough sport. Unless you put away the Euro’s and get a contract with a sponsor, retiring can be difficult. It takes good contracts and good financial acumen – both in short supply in the sport of bike racing. Some riders move into coaching or management, but that needs a certain type of personality, which not all riders are blessed with. Even the best of them end up cleaning offices when all is said and done..
For Dimitri, the teams and the money were getting smaller, the results were sliding and there was that tragic day when he had a terrible accident during the Gent Six-day. That was when he collided with Spanish rider Isaac Galvez, who died of his injuries. De Fauw struggled with depression afterwards.
He was a man who had a hard time dealing with depression and anger. And he dealt with his own by taking his life.