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Pro cyclist struck and killed on Beach Road

July 23rd, 2011 Australia

PROFESSIONAL cyclist John Cornish has been killed in an accident with a truck on Beach Road, Brighton, a stretch of road considered dangerous for cyclists.

PROFESSIONAL cyclist John Cornish has been killedThe former Genesys Pro Cycling team member was returning from a Brighton-to-Black Rock training ride with another triathlete, and nearing the end of the ride on Friday, when he was struck by the van at 5pm.

Mr Cornish was riding with a triathlete that he knew through his employer, coaching company Tri-Alliance. Mr Cornish began working for Tri-Alliance in November last year, after he was banned from professional racing after being found guilty of using an anabolic steroid.

Cycling Australia in June banned him from participating as an athlete or support person for two years. Tri-Alliance’s owner and head coach, Ollie Allan, said Mr Cornish had worked as the company’s business development manager. He said they had worked recently on a video project about riding safely on the road.

”It’s just tragic to lose another good person and cyclist to the roads like this,” Mr Allan said. ”I don’t like having my triathletes on Beach Road unless it is necessary, because safety is an issue. In this case, I don’t believe the cyclist was to blame, but on Beach Road both drivers and cyclists are often to blame. They both get frustrated with each other and it ends in tragedy through lack of patience or sense.”

Police offered counselling to about 50 friends and colleagues at the Elwood Life Saving Club yesterday. An emotional Sergeant Helen Poke, who attended the accident, told them the cycling and triathlete community was ”a family” and they needed support.

A Tri-Alliance spokeswoman described Mr Cornish as a vivacious person always willing to help others, and a powerful and graceful cyclist.

Police Superintendent Neville Taylor expressed frustration at driver, cyclist and pedestrian behaviour, and said more patience and care was needed to reduce the road toll: ”I am devastated that we have lost our 176th person from our roads – this is a kick in the guts.”

The van driver was released yesterday without charge after helping police. The State Coroner is investigating the accident.