Former road race world champion Zinauda Stagurskaya was killed yesterday (Thursday) when she was hit by a car while training in her native Belarus.
Stagurskaya, 38, who won the world road title in 2000 and competed in three Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2004, was riding her bike near the eastern Belarus city of Vitebsk when she was hit by an oncoming car that crossed the centre line on the Vitebsk-Gomel highway. She died at the scene.
Ironically, Stagurskaya had lived in Italy with her Italian husband since 2001 and only returned to Belarus to take part in this week's national championships. She is survived by her 21-year-old daughter, also a cyclist.
Police say Stagurskaya was riding behind the car of her trainer, who was able to avoid the oncoming car.
Sports Minister Alexander Grigorov described Stagurskaya as "one of the brightest stars of Belarusian cycling and the country's best representative in road races."