The Australian cycling community is in mourning following the unexpected death of young cyclist Shamus Liptrot. The 19-year-old passed away on Sunday evening in his family home in the north of Adelaide with his parents by his side.
"We have lost the most beautiful person I have ever met," Mr Liptrot's father Malcolm said. "He had worked so hard and never gave up his love of life, we are in disbelief; this has come as a total shock."
Liptrot was in the process of a long rehabilitation from injuries he suffered while racing at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals in 2007 as a member of the South Australian SASI Team O’Grady. The talented young rider was competing in the Men’s C-Grade scratch race. As the field raced to the finish line with about 150 metres to go the lead group fell with seven riders hitting the track. Liptrot skidded across the top of the surrounding perimeter fence hitting one of the light poles.
He suffered brain trauma, a fractured jaw, femur, and skull and was lucky to escape with his life.
Doctors at the time were enthusiastic about his recovery and in the last 18 months, Liptrot had learnt how to walk and talk again and was back training on his bike at home.
His death thus comes as a real shock to his family, friends and the broader cycling community.
Max Stevens, Cycling South Australia:
"I’m speechless, and words fail me at this time. Our love is with Patricia and Malcolm and the many people who have loved and supported Shamus and the Liptrots since the tragic accident."
"Very sad to hear the news about Shamus Liptrot, thoughts go out to friends and family! You’re an inspiration shamo - to me and others!"
"Thoughts go out to the family & friends of Shamus Liptrot, a brilliant junior cyclist. He crashed 3 or 4 years ago in a track race ... Unfortunately he suffered bad head injuries and never recovered. Sadly today he passed away. He'll be in our minds during today's race."
Cyclingnews extends our deepest sympathies to Liptrot's family, friends and teammates.