World cycling's governing body, the UCI, has announced that 20-year-old Dutch cyclist Annefleur Kalvenhaar, a rising star in mountain biking and cyclocross, has died following injuries sustained yesterday at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Méribel, France.
The 20-year-old from Wierden, who rode for the Focus XC Team, fell yesterday during cross-country eliminator rounds and was taken to an intensive care unit at a hospital in Grenoble, but died there earlier today.
UCI president Brian Cookson said : "I'm devastated to hear that the cycling family has lost one of its members at such a young age. Our deepest thoughts are with her family and friends."
Kalvenhaar was the current under-23 European cyclocross champion and David Lapparetient,president of the European Cycling Union, said news of her death was "a shock for everyone."
Quoted on Inside the Games, he went on: "The cycling movement, particularly the European family, cries the death of this young woman.
"In this moment of sadness, our thoughts are with Annefleur's family and friends."
World and Olympic champion and reigning cyclocross world champion Marianne Vos said that she was “shocked and saddened” to hear the news.
Vos told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “She died doing what she loved most. She was a great talent on the bike and a very sweet girl too.”
Kalvenhaar rode alongside Vos in both mountain bike races and on home soil at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships at Hoogerheide earlier this year.
She was seen as a rising star of the sport and one who could perhaps in the future assume her compatriot’s mantle as the world’s top female cyclocross rider.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.