'Fantastic young guy' dies after bike race

MIKE WATSON
Last updated 11:01 05/12/2012
Patrick Avery
JONATHAN CAMERON/Fairfax NZ
MOURNED: Patrick Avery is pictured in 2008 training for the cross-country national series at Kahuterawa Valley. Avery died on Tuesday during a race at Rotorua.

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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.

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

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

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 and resuscitate him.

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

"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."

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

Avery had represented NZ at mountainbiking.

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

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