Racing was suspended on the opening day of the 2017 African Continental Track Championships in Durban, South Africa, after an Egyptian rider died of a heart attack while taking part in a race.
Eslam Nasser Zaki, aged 22, was taking part in the tempo race round of the elite men’s omnium at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Stadium in Durban earlier today.
Cycling South Africa, which is hosting the event, said that Zaki “was riding on his own when he suddenly fell off his bicycle and after prolonged attempts to resuscitate him, he was declared dead.”
It added: “Cycling South Africa expresses its deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the family and teammates of Eslam Nasser Zaki.
“Every effort is being made to assist the Egyptian Cycling Team during this very tragic period.”
Egyptian Cycling Federation president Wagih Azzam confirmed that Zaki had died of a heart attack but rejected suggestions in the country's media that he had suffered from a prior condition.
"Nasser felt some pain a while ago and endured a full check up in several hospitals and medical centres; all the reports confirmed that he is fully fit to play cycling as his heart, brain and nerves were in perfect shape," he said.
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.