Australian former pro Jonathan Cantwell dies at 36

Cantwell retired in 2014 after riding for Saxo-Tinkoff and Drapac during his career

Australian pro Jonathan Cantwell has died, aged 36 (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Australian former professional Jonathan Cantwell has died at the age of 36.

Cantwell retired from the professional peloton in 2014, after riding with Saxo-Tinkoff and Drapac.

Tributes have been made to Cantwell after news emerged that he died on Tuesday.

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Governing body Cycling Australia posted on Twitter: “[We are] deeply saddened by the passing of Jonathan Cantwell.

“We extend our thoughts to his family and friends at this time.”

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During his six-year career, Cantwell scored stage wins at the Herald Sun Tour and the Tour de Taiwan.

He rode at WorldTour level with Saxo-Tinkoff for two years, before moving to professional continental team Drapac.

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In 2012 he rode the Tour de France with Saxo, picking up a top ten finish on stage four.

He was also crowned Australian criterium champion in 2011.

Cantwell retired in 2014, turning his attention to triathlon and competing in the World Championships last year.

After cycling he also worked as chief executive of bike manufacturer Swift Carbon Australia.

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In 2017, Cantwell revealed he had undergone successful surgery and chemotherapy for testicular cancer.

Australian Olympic champion Anna Meares said: “My heart aches to learn that Jonathan Cantwell has died.

“Love and thoughts with his family and friends and indeed community.”

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The Santos Tour Down Under race also posted on Twitter: “Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and team-mates of Jonathan Cantwell during this difficult time.”

Trek-Segafredo rider Koen de Kort said: “Waking up in Bali paradise to news that makes me feel the saddest I have felt in a very long time.

“I will miss you buddy.”

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.