By John Stevenson
Mountain biker, orienteer and adventure racer James Grant, 25, has died of a suspected heart attack in Sunday's Geelong MTB Club Ballan six-hour mountain bike race.
According to Geelong MTB Club president Mark Barends, James Grant was reported to have been hyperventilating on the second lap of the race and had carried on after recovering, but then collapsed a short time later. He was initially attended by paramedics who had been competing in the event, and was quickly reached by ambulance officers. Barends said he had called for assistance after the initial report of a rider in trouble and an ambulance had arrived from nearby Bacchus Marsh some 15 minutes later.
Paramedics and ambulance officers administered CPR for some time, but were unable to revive Mr Grant.
James Grant was competing in the solo category of the event - which had begun with a minute's silence for Amy Gillett - with a group of friends, including his wife. An enthusiastic competitor in endurance mountain bike races, mountain bike orienteering and adventure races, Mr Grant won the solo category at the 2003 Kona 24-hour and was a member of the Cairns Coconut Caravan Resort that team that won the teams category in last year's Crocodile Trophy, and had helped team-mate Adam Hanson to the overall victory.
A marine technician with the Royal Australian Navy, Mr Grant had recently moved from Cairns to Melbourne where he was studying mechanical engineering.