Top cyclist dies after finish line

Last updated 11:12 05/12/2012
Patrick Avery
FAIRFAX NZ
PATRICK AVERY: Pictured here training for the crosscountry national mountainbiking series in the Kahuterawa Valley.

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A nationally ranked Rotorua cyclist who died while racing at a club meeting may have had a seizure, club members say.

Patrick Avery, 21, was seen to fall off his road bike just after completing a Cycling Rotorua criterium race near Rotorua Airport last night.

Cycling Rotorua president Peter Clark said race officials saw Avery go past the finish line, veer off the road and then fall off his bike and hit the ground.

The criterium had been a short 15 minute race, he said.

Mr Clark said Avery had showed no signs of illness before the meeting.

"We believe it may have been a seizure of heart attack which caused him to fall off the bike, but we are not sure."

Mr Clark said a senior nurse, who is a club member, and Fire Service crew who were training nearby rushed to Avery's side to try to resuscitate him.

"They spent 40 minutes giving him oxygen and paramedics attended to him for another 30 minutes but were not able to revive him before he was taken to Rotorua Hospital," Mr Clark said.

"It is a tragic, sad thing to happen.

"Patrick comes from a well-known cycling family in Rotorua, he was a fantastic young guy, very laid back and a very good cyclist."

Mr Clark said Avery had worked for him at his car yard and had got to know him well.

Avery had represented New Zealand at mountainbiking.

His older brother, Clinton, is a professional road cyclist, and parents Murray and Maryann(CRT) are also keen cyclists.

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- The Dominion Post

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