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Tributes are being paid to the professional rider Jason Lowndes, who died after being hit by a car while out riding near Bendigo. The likeable Australian was building up for the new season, and was honing his form prior to the national championships in early January.
He was tenth in the under 23 race in 2017, months after taking a superb sixth in the world under 23 championship road race. This season, he took top five stage finishes in the Tour of Austria, the Tour of Korea, the Tour of Portugal plus the Baltic Chain Tour. More recently, he was third in last weekend’s Shimano Super Crit in Melbourne.
Lowndes was struck from behind by a car just after 10 am on Friday. Although he was flown to hospital doctors were unable to save him.
He competed for the Drapac Pro Cycling team in 2016 and raced with Israel Cycling Academy in 2017. He was set to move to JLT Condor next year. Based in Girona during the European season, he had a wide number of friends there.
They and others paid tribute to him on Friday.
According to the Herald Sun, a 20 year old woman who was driving the car stopped at the scene. Police are appealing for witnesses to provide information on what happened.
Zak Dempster, a fellow Israel Cycling Academy rider, paid tribute via the team’s Facebook page. “Jason was a great friend to all of us; he was like this big puppy dog that was impossible not to love,” he wrote.
“He’d run around at a million miles an hour, suitcase full of Lindt chocolate bars, ready to rip races and always ready for a great time with those he loved at any moment.
Jason lived every moment of his life to the absolute fullest, it’s just not fair his is gone.”
“We are deeply grieved by the tragic death of our dear friend, rider, and teammate,” said the team.
“Jason, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday eight days ago, was hit by a car while training today on his bike near his home town in Bendigo, Victoria.
“Jason raced for Israel Cycling Academy during the 2017 season and his constant broad smile, ever cheerful personality, and warm heart will be terribly missed forever by all of us. We wish to send our deep condolences to Jason’s family and friends all over the world.
“Good bye, wonderful mate.”
All of us at CyclingTips express our sincere condolences to Jason’s family, friends and teammates.