Cycling community share tributes following death of Sharon Laws
'She will be missed terribly by all of us'
The cycling community - athletes, teams, event organizers, and members of the media - expressed sadness following the announcement of the death of Sharon Laws Saturday. Laws died at age 43 of cervical cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in October 2016.
Laws, born in Kenya and grew up in Bourton-on-the-Water in Cotswolds, was well-respected among the professional cycling community. She raced at the top level of the sport for teams Team Halfords, Cervelo Test Team, AA Drink Leontien.nl, Lotto Ladies, UnitedHeathcare, Bigla and Podium Ambition.
During that time she earned a long list of accolades including stand-out performances that won her British road and time trial titles. She also represented her nation at the 2008 Olympic Games where she helped Nicole Cooke claim the gold medal in the road race.
Following her cancer diagnosis at the end of 2016, Laws continued to bring her expertise and knowledge of professional cycling to the community through a partnership with Voxwomen. Laws co-commentated for the 2017 season alongside Founder of Voxwomen Anthony McCrossan, even while undergoing cancer treatments.
McCrossan expressed his sadness at the loss of his friend and colleague, while also offering condolences to Laws' friends and family.
"Sharon was a force of nature. Her enthusiasm, talent, drive and energy were something to behold even in the midst of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and everything she was having to deal with," McCrossan told Cyclingnews.
"She was a great bike rider, a fantastic team rider and her knowledge was insightful and deep. I had the pleasure of knowing her as a rider and had the chance to work with her alongside me as a co-commentator and as a member of the Voxwomen team. Her blog race previews were stunning, her passion for cycling was unparalleled.
"Only 17 days ago she called me to tell me she was unhappy that her average speed on a ride was so slow. She was still riding through all of her treatment! We didn't know but that was her last chance to ride the bike. She will be missed terribly by all of us and by so many people she met across the world but she will leave a legacy of inspiration and a memory of her huge smile and infectious laugh. RIP Sharon."
Voxwomen, in agreement with Laws' family, wrote the following tribute.
Sharon Laws 1974 - 2017
After a 14 month battle with cervical cancer, 43-year-old Sharon Laws passed away peacefully this morning, with her close family at her side.
Cycling friends say goodbye
The cycling community responded to Laws' death on Saturday with warm condolences and memories shared across social media.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.