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Second Edition Cycling News for July 21, 2005

Date published:
July 21, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Condolensces and tributes

    Article published:
    July 21, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    John Stevenson

    Cyclingnews has now published three pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the...

    Cyclingnews has now published three pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, Part 1, and More tributes to Amy Gillett, 1976-2005 and Part 3 (posted July 21).

    Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to Cycling Australia's web site and follow the link on the home page.

    Related stories:
    July 21: AIS head 'optimistic' about recovery; 'Brownie' tries his best
    July 19: Unprecedented carnage in GermanyJuly 18: Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany

  • AIS flies in additional support staff

    Article published:
    July 21, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The AIS has mobilised a team of specialists to assist with counselling and recovery of the affected...

    The AIS has mobilised a team of specialists to assist with counselling and recovery of the affected cyclists, and also support their close family and friends.

    Head of the AIS Performance Psychology Department, Dr Michael Martin, said the specialist support services include:
    Two AIS psychologists currently in Germany - Rosanna Stanimirovic, who works with the cycling team, and Ruth Anderson, who is the AIS Residential Athlete Counsellor.
    A network of psychologists in state institutions and academies of sport across Australia are in contact with affected athletes, coaches, support staff and athlete families.
    The Australian Sports Commission (ASC - Australia's peak sports funding body) has employed specialist trauma and grief psychologists to support institute and academy psychologists to take care of those affected by the tragedy.
    The ASC has also retained a European-based company to provide additional trauma and grief counselling to European-based athletes, coaches, program staff and family.
    The National Athlete Career and Education program has an athlete counselling support service available for additional specialist support.

    "This is the most serious trauma incident involving Australian athletes overseas in recent memory,"' Dr Martin said. "It is important to realise that while the impact on the athletes themselves is the most severe, the flow on effects to family, friends, colleagues and support staff is also significant and needs to be managed in the short and longer term.

    'Those close to the athletes who believe they might need psychological and/or counselling support shouldn't hesitate to contact the psychology department at the AIS or any of the state and territory-based sports institutes and academies," he said.

  • Thüringen-Rundfahrt under way with neutral stage

    Oenone Wood ('C)
    Article published:
    July 21, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    John Stevenson

    After the tragic accident before the Thüringen-Rundfahrt in Germany that killed Australian cyclist...

    After the tragic accident before the Thüringen-Rundfahrt in Germany that killed Australian cyclist Amy Gillett and injured five of her teammates, the organisers of the race held a memorial service in place of the first stage on Tuesday and neutralised what was to be the second stage on Wednesday.

    The memorial service was held at Zeulenroda's Market Place. The service was attended by local government and German Cycling Federation representatives, representatives of the International Cycling Union and all the riders and team staff of the Tour. Australia's Ambassador to Germany, Pamela Fayle, read a tribute to Amy on behalf of Cycling Australia's board, staff and members, and several Australian cyclists including Olympic gold medallist, Sara Carrigan, world ranked number one, Oenone Wood, and Amy's close friend Natalie Bates paid tribute to their friend and teammate. Australians Rochelle Gilmore, Emma Rickards, Olivia Gollan and Kate Bates also attended. At the conclusion of the service the cyclists on their bicycles followed by a convoy of mourners travelled to where the accident happened and amidst prayers and tears, floral tributes were laid at the site next to a simple wooden cross bearing Amy's name.

    On Wednesday, it was decided that stage 2 between Zeulenroda and Greiz would be ridden under neutral conditions by the field, with the seven remaining Australian riders in the race crossing the line first, a little way ahead of the peloton. It was a symbolic gesture that was also performed by the Motorola team in the Tour de France 10 years ago, after Fabio Casartelli died on a descent during Stage 15 on July 18, 1995. The next day, the stage between Tarbes and Pau was neutralised and the six remaining members of the Motorola squad led the pack into the finish.

    The first racing stage of this year's Thüringen-Rundfahrt will be on Thursday, between Greiz and Gera.

  • 'Brownie' tries his best to keep spirits up

    Article published:
    July 21, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    John Stevenson

    Graeme Brown, dual cycling gold medallist at the Athens Olympic Games and based in Italy with...

    Graeme Brown, dual cycling gold medallist at the Athens Olympic Games and based in Italy with Ceramica Panaria - Navigare, has arrived in Germany to be with his sister, Katie, one of the cyclists injured in Monday's tragedy.

    His sister's "spirits are reasonably good considering the circumstances. I've been acting pretty silly to make her laugh and keep her happy," he said.

    "She's been having trouble sleeping because the accident keeps replaying in her mind and she wakes up crying from the nightmares. But the psychologist says that's normal in the first 24 to 48 hours following a trauma like this."

    "A big crew of Australian riders came to visit her before they raced and my mum and dad and Kate Nichols' folks arrived at about the same time, so we were all in the same room and it was almost a bit too loud."

    Brown said his sister now knows of Amy's death, but they are letting her deal with it in her own way and with the aid of the psychologist, who spent the night in the hospital room she shares with Kate Nichols, so she could be a friendly face when Katie awoke from a nightmare.

    "She talks about it when she wants to but when she sees someone new it makes her cry because she wants to explain it again and remember it," he said. "But that's probably a good thing because she's talking her way through it and getting it off her chest.

    "We're all here for each other and that's what's important," he said. "I was pretty upset when I first saw her and I still get very emotional but I go outside when that happens so I don't get upset in front of her."

  • AIS women update - condition still critical, but AIS 'optimistic' about recovery

    Kate Nichols in the women's races at the 2005 Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    July 21, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The head of the Australian Insititute of Sport (AIS), Professor Peter Fricker, said they have...

    The head of the Australian Insititute of Sport (AIS), Professor Peter Fricker, said they have "reason to be optimistic" about the recovery of the five cyclists who are hospitalised in Germany after the tragic accident on Monday, Jul 18, 2005, that caused the death of cyclist Amy Gillett.

    However, cyclists Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley are still in intensive care, unconscious since the incident on Monday and assisted by automatic ventilators. Meanwhile, Katie Brown, Kate Nichols and Lorian Graham remain in hospital, and are expected to stay for some time, recovering from the injuries sustained in the accident. The riders have been informed of the fate of their team-mate, and have been joined by close family who've flown to Germany.

    All the riders are now in the same hospital after Lorian Graham was transferred overnight. The three conscious riders are now sharing the same room.

    At a press conference in Germany, Professor Fricker, released details on the cyclists' conditions after the parents agreed to the release of factual information. "They want everyone to know they are optimistic about their daughters' recovery and extremely satisfied with the treatment they are receiving," he said.

    "The Uni Klinik in Jena is a new facility and there is no rush to move them out of the facility because they are receiving the best possible care. Louise and Alexis are the most critically injured but both are very fit and strong and we have reason to be optimistic about their recovery," Prof Fricker added.

    Cycling Australia's national performance director, Shayne Bannan, said the arrival of families and friends in Jena has lifted everyone's spirits.

    "Last night Australian cyclists, Sara Carrigan, Olivia Gollan, Oenone Wood and Kate and Natalie Bates along with family and friends crowded into Kate, Katie and Lorian's hospital room for a visit," he said.

    "It was a really positive experience for everyone and it was obvious to...