Leading Australian cyclist killed
Monday, July 18, 2005 11.00pm
Australian Institute of Sport team member Amy Gillett dies and five of her team-mates are seriously
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
One of Australia's leading women cyclists was killed and five of her team-mates were seriously injured when a car was driven into them when they were out training in Germany on Monday. The dead rider was named as Amy Gillett, 29, who had represented Australia at the 1996 Olympics as a rower, before becoming a top class cyclist.
Two other members of the Australian Institute for Sport (AIS) team, Louise Yaxley and Alexis Rhodes, are in intensive care in a hospital near Leipzig and are reported to be in a serious condition. Three other team members - Katie Brown, Kate Nichols and Lorian Graham - were described as being in a stable condition with multiple injuries.
According to a statement issued by the AIS, the riders were hit head on by a car that is reported to have crossed onto their side of the road while they were training near the town of Zeulenroda for the Thueringen Rundfahrt stage race, which was due to start today. The driver of the car is reported to be an 18-year-old German woman who had only recently gained her driving licence. The first stage of the stage race has been cancelled as a mark of respect for Gillett and her injured colleagues.
"They were riding along and a car came over the white line and hit them head-on," Lorna Graham, mother of Lorian Graham, told ABC news in Australia.
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates described Gillett as "a unique athlete who represented at the elite level in two sports. She was an outstanding rower who competed at the '96 Atlanta Games and then she showed her immense talent making the transition to competitive cycling in such a short time."
- The organisers of the Thuringen Rundfahrt (Tour of Thuringen) have arranged for a memorial service to be held for Amy Gillett. The Service will be staged at the Marktplatz (Market Place) in Zeulenroda at 5.30pm July 19th (local time). The location was to have been the start/finish area of the first stage of the race which has been cancelled in the wake of Amy's death.
The service will be attended by race teams and officials along with a representative of the German Cycling Federation, the president of the Thuringen Cycling Federation, Mr Jurgen Beese, and local government representatives. Australia's ambassador to Germany, Pamela Fayle, and senior consular officer, David Poulter, will also attend.
After a short service at the Marktplatz, the mourners will travel in convoy to the site of the accident where floral tributes will be laid. Ambassador Fayle will lay a wreath on behalf of all Australians.
Four of the five cyclists injured in the accident are now in the same hospital after helicopters transferred Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley earlier today. Arrangements are being made to move Lorian Graham to join them if she so wishes. Doctors have listed Graham, Katie Brown and Kate Nichols in satisfactory condition, whilst both Rhodes and Yaxley remain in a serious but stable condition.
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