Emerging Australian junior cyclist Scott Peoples from Shepparton, Victoria, has died in a tragic road accident while training near Melbourne, reports stuff.co.nz.
Police have confirmed the 19 year-old Victorian, a recent double-stage winner at last month's Tour of Southland stage race in New Zealand, was struck from behind by a Nissan Patrol four-wheel drive vehicle on the Maroondah highway in Merton, Victoria, and died later at the scene. The male driver, whose name has not been identified, was taken to hospital suffering from shock.
"Scott was a young rider with a great future ahead of him but that future has been cruelly cut short," said Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends as they try to deal with their terrible loss.
"This tragedy once again highlights the need for motorists to take special care and be aware of cyclists on our roads," said Mr Fredericks. "Many Australians, both young and old, will be receiving bicycles for Christmas and will be on the roads trying them out so I urge all motorists to be patient because an extra five minutes added to your journey is a small price to pay to keep a cyclist safe."
Victorian race promoter and Cyclingnews correspondent, John Trevorrow, said Peoples was "One of our brightest young stars" and "destined for greatness".
"He rode a good Sun Tour, then finished third overall in Tour of Tasmania (a tough, hilly race won by riders such as Cadel Evans) and won two stages in NZ. Brett Lancaster (established Australian pro rider) was just telling me he was organising a pro contact for the youngster."
Cyclingnews extends its condolences to the Peoples family.