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CyclingTips understands that former professional road racer Jonathan Cantwell has died, aged 36. It is understood the Australian passed away on the evening of Tuesday November 6 but cause of death has not been confirmed.
After four successful years spent racing at the Continental level in Australia and the US, Cantwell joined the WorldTour with the SaxoBank-Tinkoff setup for 2012 and 2013. A powerful sprinter, he raced the Tour de France with the team in 2012, taking a best result of sixth in the stage 4 bunch sprint.
He joined Drapac Professional Cycling in 2014 — the year the team stepped up to Pro Continental level — and completed one year of a multi-year contract before being let go by the team. His dismissal became the subject of a protracted legal battle between he and the team. The case was eventually settled in May 2018.
Cantwell concluded his career at the end of 2014 with four professional victories to his name: two stages at the Tour de Taiwan and two stages at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
After retiring from racing, Cantwell focused his energy on duathlon and triathlon. In September 2018 he finished 10th in the 35-39 male age bracket at the 2018 World Triathlon Grand Final on the Gold Coast.
Friends, acquaintances and former teammates have left tributes for Cantwell on social media, among them Melbourne cycling personality Lee Turner who wrote on Cantwell’s final Instagram post: “I’ll never forget your bubbly personality and cheeky smile.” Instagram user scotttheplumber added: “Shattering news to wake up to. You were a lovable larrikin Johnno. RIP”
Cantwell was the CEO of SwiftCarbon Australia, having helped coordinate the brand’s sponsorship of the Drapac Pro Continental team. Alongside fellow former pro Matt Goss, Cantwell also founded carbon component brand Speedpro in 2016.
He is survived by his partner and two children.