Australian national champion Lorian Graham says she is determined to return to racing when she recovers from the crash that killed her team-mate Amy Gillett and put the remaining five team members, including Graham, in hospital with serious injuries.
Talking to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, Graham said she had "unfinished business" in cycling - including the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia in 2006 and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Graham said that she and and her four team-mates - Katie Brown, Louise Yaxley, Kate Nichols, and Alexis Rhodes - had made a vow in the Jena University Clinic hospital "to ride as a team again."
Graham was perhaps the least badly injured, but still suffered cracked ribs and sternum, a broken collarbone and a shattered knee in the crash, which she remembered in detail.
"I saw the car 40m away but there was no reaction time. I heard the biggest thud. I thought 'oh my god' and I was on the ground," Graham said. "I was hoping at that point someone would get up and no one did. I knew then we were in trouble. That we were in a bad situation."
Graham paid tribute to Amy Gillett who took a direct hit by the car, driven by an 18-year old who had lost control of the vehicle. "Amy was dear to us all, she was like a sister, she was an inspiring, talented and honest person," Graham said.
Amy Gillett's family and Cycling Australia have established the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation to honour her memory. The Foundation will assist with the recovery of her injured team mates, fund a sporting and academic scholarship program for promising female cyclists, and promote road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists. People wishing to donate to the Foundation should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au and follow the links from the home page.
Condolences and tributes
Cyclingnews has four pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, 1976-2005, Part 1, and Part 2, Part 3 (posted July 21), Part 4 (posted July 22), and Part 5 (posted July 29).
August 22: Yaxley and Rhodes home
August 18: Rhodes and Yaxley bound for home
August 14: Yaxley and Rhodes continue to make progress
August 11: Brown vows to return to cycling
August 8: More support for Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation
August 3: Rhodes and Yaxley out of intensive care
July 29: Amy Gillett's life recalled in moving service
July 28: Rhodes and Yaxley recovery 'amazing'
July 24: Yaxley improving, Rhodes still unconscious
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