Members of a Canadian men's cycling team are safe in Paris, thanks to a flight delay that prevented them from landing in Brussels at the time of Tuesday's attacks.
Cyclists with Cycling Canada’s NextGen Men’s Track Endurance team were scheduled to land in Brussels Tuesday morning, less than an hour before a bomb and a suicide attack hit Zaventem airport.
“We would have just been getting our bags when they went off. It’s pretty crazy to think that we would have been a part of that," Edmonton cyclist Evan Burtnik told Global News.
Instead, thanks to a delay in Montreal, the team was in the air when the plane's captain told passengers the flight was being rerouted.
The team tweeted that they had landed safely in Paris, and thanked staff, cyclists and employees at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for their support.
We just landed in Paris, deviated from Brussels. The whole team is safe and ok.— NextGenMTE (@NextGenMTE) March 22, 2016
When contacted by Canadian Cycling Magazine, Cycling Canada high-performance manager Kris Westwood said that the focus should be on the people of Belgium.
“We feel attention should be on the victims of the attack in Brussels and not on us,” Westwood said. “We felt that commenting on it would be inappropriate.”
The team is en route to Malaga, Spain, where other members are already waiting to begin pre-season training.
The attacks in Brussels killed 34 people, and injured 270 others, according to The Canadian Press. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombings.
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