Tragic death mars London to Paris ride

By Jeff Jones | Monday, June 30, 2008 4.06pm

An amateur rider taking part in last weekend's 600km London Paris Cycle Tour has died after sustaining serious head injuries in a collision with a motorcycle.

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On Friday June 27, the second day of the event marketed as 'the professional event for amateurs', Andy D'Agata, 44 from Surrey, fell into the path of one of the motorcycle outriders supporting the event. As yet unconfirmed reports from fellow cyclists suggest that Mr D'Agata slid on a patch of diesel towards the end of the stage from Calais to Amiens. The motorcyclist had little chance of avoiding the stricken rider.

Paramedics were quickly on the scene and Mr D'Agata was airlifted to hospital in Lille. Sadly, despite around the clock care he was unable to recover and died from his injuries on Saturday June 28. Mr D'Agata was riding in the lead group that was taking part in the event's race, although it is understood that the accident occurred once racing had ceased. The event continued following the accident, although the competition element was cancelled.

In a statement on the event website organiser Sven Thiele said: "The condolences of the L2P organisers, tour staff and all participating riders are extended to the family at this sad time. All concerned in the organisation of L2P will continue to assist the authorities in all matters related to this tragic accident."

Cycling Plus editor Rob Spedding was riding the event in a group ahead of Mr D'Agata at the time of the accident. "Everybody involved with this year's L2P is devastated by Andy's death and our thoughts are with his family," he said. "Cycling on the road, especially in large groups, can never be completely free of risk but from what I experienced on the road the organisers did their utmost to ensure the safety of all of the riders taking part."

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