Brian Phillips, a former national team time trial champion, died yesterday at a team time trial event in Italy. He had recently turned fifty-one.
 
Phillips was riding in the Cronosquadre della Versilia Michele Bartoli in Tuscany (a 37.5km eight-man team time trial organised by former Italian professional Bartoli) – when he fell from his bike.
 
Early reports suggest that he did not die from injuries sustained in the fall, suggesting that a possible health problem caused the incident.
 
Phillips was riding the event with several members of the East Grinstead CC.
 
A close friend and training-buddy of former professional Sean Yates, he had been a long time member of the club.
 
He also enjoyed a spell riding for Manchester Wheelers in the 1980s where he was a member of the team time trial quartet that won the 1985 National Championship and part of the winning team in the 1983 National 50-mile and 12-hour championships.
 
In a recent outing, Phillips was – with Steve Dennis and Christian Yates – part of the winning team in the veteran team category at the East Surrey Hardriders .
 
Outside of cycling, he was a successful businessman and a family man. According to those that knew him, he was kind and modest, and universally popular amongst those he rode with.
 
He is survived by his wife, Claire, and three children.  

  • John Yates

    I first met Brian in the mid 1970’s when I lived at Horsham & Brian was still at school. I was into coaching then & I would like to think that I set him off in the right direction to his cycling. In subsequent years when we met up in events he would always seek me out for a chat. Clearly he was a champion& I was still a plodder but we were equals in his eyes. I have been in cycling for over 60 years and he was one of the best I have ever met. Nothing I can say will relieve the sadness his family will feel, but they have to be proud of the esteem we in the game feel towards him. Brian was a true gentleman & an absolute brick.

  • Luke Edwardes-Evans

    There will be a memorial service for Brian from 12 noon-3pm this Tuesday, April 12, at the Apex centre in Bury St Edmunds.
    This will follow the funeral service for family and close friends and will be a celebration of Brian’s life – all his cycling friends are welcome.
    For location map go to http://www.theapex.co.uk

  • Valerie Baxendine

    My first contact with Brian was a letter he sent me when he was 12 years old.He was at Lancing College then and wanted to join the East Grinstead cycling club.Who would have thought that skinny lad would become such a good cycliist.Brian was one of those very speciial people,like and loved by all those who knew him.Sympathies to all his family and his Mum.

  • Kevin Rolt

    I hardly knew Brian but he would appear at our local time trials and was notably different from other “proper” competitors in that he would chat to anyone, no matter what your ability. A true inspiration rarely found these days.

  • Martin webster

    Rode with Brian along with brother Darryl & Paul Curran in that winning TTT championship in 85.I remember well me & Brian doing what we could hanging onto that pair but we were both still there to the end.Brian was so chuffed at his gold medal that day.So sad to hear of his loss.My sympathys to his family.

  • Anne Locke

    I first met Brian in 1982 when he was racing for Cambridge University. Those of us in the Oxford University club were rightly in awe of him as an opponent, but many of us came also to know him as a remarkable person whose enthusiasm, humour and love for the sport were quite unforgettable. It is hard to take in that this can have happened. On behalf of the ‘Dark Blues’ I would like to send deepest condolences to Claire and the children and to Brian’s friends and clubmates.

  • Sam Green

    I only met Brian a few times through my dad, but without him I probably wouldn’t be the cyclist I am now. He gave me my first road bike when I was 14, and it was from then on in that I fell in love with the support. A kind, generious and modest person, and an unbelievable cyclist. Sympathy goes out to his family.

  • Dave Terry

    Wednesday nights will not be the same without Brian ripping everyones legs off. He will be sadly missed one of lifes good guys

    Thoughts are with his family

    T

  • Sharon Garnett

    I have known Brian for about 11 years, and can honestly say I have never known or likely to ever know such an amazing person, he was an exceptional human being. He would go out of his way to help anyone and always had time for you no matter how busy he was. Like many people I feel a huge loss and am sure this terrible news will affect so many people. All my thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  • Brian Grainge

    I am so sorry to receive this sad news,
    Brian was a regular rider in our evening 10 M. Time Trials. We start this years series on Wed. 6th. April,
    We will all miss his cheery presence on the start line and the hum of his discs as he approached the finish at high speed. keeping us on our toes with the stopwatch.

    On behalf of everyone from Haverhill Wheelers I would like to send our deepest sympathy to Claire and the Children.

    Brian.

  • Tony Lyons

    This is such a shock. Brian and I were good friends at University: he was a great training partner, and a wonderful friend. He will be so missed. All my thoughts are with his family, especially Claire and the children.

  • Dave Edwards

    Brian was a great guy both on and off the bike. His unfortunate death has come as a great shock.
    As a cyclist he was great to sit behind, mainly because you couldn’t get by him he was so quick.
    He will be sorely missed by all and our thoughts are with his family at this time.

  • David Giffin

    I was so very sad to hear about Brian, he was such a wonderful friend.
    I had the honor and the pleasure to know him and I was very sorry to hear about his passing away.
    I had the greatest respect for him and will miss his generous nature and remarkable sense of humor.
    My thoughts & deepest sympathies to his family at this time.

  • Liz Miller

    Met Brian cycling from London to Paris – he was a real backbone to our team – so fearless, encouraging, cheerful, positive and enthusiastic. Although I haven’t seen him since, I did often think of him and wonder how he was. He was the sort of person you didn’t forget.
    Thinking of those who were close to him – his loss must be hard to bear.

  • Tom Miller

    I only got to know Brian over the course of a few rides last summer but, like all those who have commented, could not help but be struck by his kindness and generosity of spirit. His modesty about his own great ability was extraordinary, and he was always ready to help and encourage us more average riders. Brian was one of those people who seemed to find the good in everyone and every situation, and he will be very much missed. A lovely guy.

  • Neil D Suffolk

    Such a sad loss, what a nice guy. You can tell a man from the way he rides his bike and Brian rode hard on the front for all of us, unselfishly helping everyone in his wake. On the road as in life. My sympathies to his family at this very difficult time.

  • Steve Byrne

    Brian took me on as a technician back in 1994. A truly fantastic guy to work for with an incredible drive and determination. He was also the kindest and most generous human being I’ve ever met. It’s hard to put in to words the sense of loss that I, and the many others who knew him feel at this time.

  • David Mather

    I knew Brian from racing with him in the evening time trials near Haverhill in Suffolk for a number of years. He was indeed a true gentleman and I was completely inspired by him. On the bike there were few that could get anywhere near his speed, he excelled with his business acumen and he had a wonderfully modest and kind manner. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and closest friends for the loss of this remarkable man.

  • Martyn Green

    Brian took a chance and employed me as I finished my RAF career in 1996 after 23 years and I have worked with him since then, words cannot describe how I feel right now. His excellent business acumen, people management skills and technical ability are qualities rarely found together in one person, I can only be proud to have known him for this relatively short period. My thoughts are with Claire and the family, he is sorely missed.

  • Bruce McKenzie

    I first met Brian through my son’s school. His passion for cycling and life knew no bounds. He was always there to support and help, when our boys have had sport or other activities to participate in.

    Brian’s leadership skills and understanding of people gave me no hesitation in asking him to participate in the London to Paris cycle ride team last summer. Brian helped every member of our team be it on the climbs; tyre changes or those last few miles of the day. I will always remember that smile. A true friend and a man I will never forget. Our thoughts and hearts are with his family.

  • Callum Gough

    Sad day. Nice guy

  • Steve Newman

    He was a shining star in this world we live, kind hearted, modest and generous to a fault, a fantastic cyclist and friend, Saturday morning rides and our evening time trials will be missing a very special man.
    Our hearts go out to him and his family

  • Peter Connolly

    I knew Brian from the early nineties when he was the only person to show faith in me after I found myself unemployed for two years. I worked for Brian and I rode and raced with him. He was a great, modest guy and I am devastated as will be all those who know him.

  • Nick Rearden

    He was indeed a ‘proper gent’ who was very nice to me when I was riding my very first open time trials in Kent and he was already a local star. How horrible for his family.