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Wednesday, 11 February, 1998, 18:43 GMT
Top British cyclist killed
One of Britain's top cyclists, Peter Longbottom, has been killed in an accident while riding near York.

Longbottom, who was 38, had competed in the Olympic Games and won two Commonwealth medals.

He was killed on Tuesday evening in an accident on the busy A64 ring road. Police say he was struck from behind by a white Nissan saloon car as he cycled on the inside lane.

The force of the impact sent him flying into the path of passing traffic on the outside lane and he was hit by several vehicles.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to York District Hospital. The accident has devastated his family and the cycling world.

Lived for cycling

His father David said he lived for cycling: "He was a good team man, he supported everybody else. It was his life, he lived for it totally."

Longbottom's friend and former coach Tony Boswell, said: "It is heartbreaking. He was the best cyclist York had ever known."

Peter Keen, from the British Cycling Federation, said: "We are all horrified by what has happened. It is a terrible piece of news and a desperately sad day for British cycling."

Martin Ayres, former editor of Cycling Weekly, said: "He will leave a big hole in the sport of cycling and he touched a lot of rider's lives."

Brian Atkinson, managing director of Riding Construction, where Longbottom was a director, said: "We shall miss him greatly. He was such an important part of the company."

Talented cyclist

Longbottom's international cycling career began early - he represented Britain in the Junior World Championships in 1977 and in 1979 was selected for the British squad for the World Amateur Road Race Championships.

He was shortlisted for the Olympic team in 1980 and 1984, but missed out on final selection.

In 1985 he was a member of the Great Britain team in the World Championships.

He made his milk race debut in 1981, finishing 15th, and in 1989 won the opening stage.

He won a bronze medal in the 1990 Commonwealth Games 100km time-trial with his colleague Chris Boardman.

At the age of 33, he finally made it to the Olympics, becoming one of the oldest cyclists to represent Britain at the men's team time-trial in Barcelona.

In the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada he won a silver medal in the 100km time-trial. He retired from racing in October 1996.

He lived in Malton, North Yorkshire, with his wife Lyn.

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