Australians offer shocked condolences for Amy Gillett

By John Trevorrow in Pau

The crash in Germany on Monday that killed Amy Gillett and injured five riders from the Australian team has deeply affected the Australian contingent at the Tour. All the Australians at the Tour de France were in shock today; the riders, the journos, the workers and the fans. Some of the cyclists knew the girls well, while others only well enough to say hi. But they all looked forlorn and seemed to have that emptiness and sadness that comes with losing a comrade.

Everyone's thoughts today are for the family and friends of Amy Gillett, Alexis Rhodes, Louise Yaxley, Katie Brown, Lorian Graham and Katie Nichols. And, of course, team coach Warren "Wazza" McDonald.

Robbie McEwen: "I just heard about the girls. I can't believe it. Australian cycling has a special bond that most other nations don't have, and my heart goes out to all the loved ones."

Baden Cooke: "Mark (Renshaw - boyfriend of Katie Brown) has gone to Germany to be with Katie. It's every cyclist's nightmare to be involved in an accident like that. You do everything you can to avoid crashes, but it doesn't matter how good a bike rider you are or how careful you are, a car ploughing into you is something you can't do anything about. I would like to send my condolences to the families of all involved."

Stuart O'Grady: "The other day I was wearing an armband for Casartelli. Now I am wearing an arm band for a fellow Australian rider. I'm devastated. I'm shocked. We feel so sorry for her family our thoughts are with them. And I hope the other girls who are in critical condition come though on the good side."

"It's hard for everyone. It's hard to continue and go out and race. There are things much bigger in life than sport. But we have to get on with our job. Unfortunately, what we do is very dangerous. But I am sure their families and everyone would want us to keep going. It's a sign of our support to keep on racing."

Cadel Evans: "I don't think words can do anything. I don't know how many people have to get killed before society realise how dangerous motor vehicles are. I feel sorry for the girls, their friends and family. Very sorry."

Matt White: "It is devastating for everyone involved, they will all be in my thoughts today."

Simon Gerrans: "What terrible news. I have met most of the girls on the Bay Classic but I didn't know them real well. But I am devastated by the news. An accident like that is something that every cyclist dreads and for it to happen to our national team is unbelievable. My deepest condolences go out to all the families"

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