Officials have confirmed that Herbalife-Leisure Lakes rider Junior Heffernan died following a collision with a car during the Severn Bridge Road Race in Gloucestershire on Sunday.

The race was abandoned shortly after the incident on the third of ten laps, with riders returning to the headquarters at Olveston visibly shaken.

Shortly after the news broke of the 23-year-old’s death, many tributes were paid to the Devon rider and his friends and family.

Avon and Somerset Police were quickly on the scene and interviewed many riders, officials and members of the public in a bid to establish exactly what happened.

British Cycling president Brian Cookson said: “This is a tragedy which will profoundly sadden everyone associated with cycling in this country. My thoughts are with Junior’s family and with his friends.” 

  • Alan

    I’ve lived in Belgium for the last 17 years. I’d have to say, I’ve been wondering how life is for the cyclist back in the UK these days. Belgium has many cyclepaths, whereas there are very few in Britain. I’m in my 60s now, but often think about riding timetrials again in England. The other correspondents make it sound dangerous; and I came to this page after seeing the report of the death of Junior Heffernan.

    I don’t know if they are related, but I used to be in the same club in London as Steve Heffernan, who won a Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1972 and was to be seen regularly at Paddington race track when that existed.

    Back in the 1970s, when I last raced in the UK, cycling to work seemed to be relatively stress-free. I cycled to work 13 miles from Greenford to London Bridge in 1990. There were few commuter cyclists back then riding to work. The roads seemed pretty hectic and apparently have become more so nowadays. My greatest delight was twiddling my regular 71″ fixed gear through the Hangar Lane underpass, occasionally achieving 40mph (189rpm) registered on the cycle computer.

  • Angharad

    It seems everyone is so aggressive these days and no one pays any notice to the law. Cyclists ride on pavements and jump red lights and motorists speed and jump red lights.

    As there is more of everything trying to use poorly maintained and overcrowded road system, we all need to be a bit more accommodating of each other – after all, we all have the same entitlement to use the roads.

  • Ian Doran

    I last raced 20 years ago and and I’m thinking about having another go before I get too old. The problem is training on the open road. Traffic is now heavier than ever but most importantly is the attitude of drivers towards cyclists and until this changes it will only get more dangerous for us. Closed roads are the only answer, but it seems that only happens for running events. The authorities are totally unwilling to make cycling safer whether it be racing, time trials or just the Sunday club run.

  • Mark Wilson

    Just cancelled two road race entries, not worth taking the risk now. Had two near misses out on a ride yesterday and threatened by a driver who was clearly in the wrong! Looks like closed circuit and track are the only safe racing options now