A fundraising campaign has been launched after the death of former pro Jonathan Cantwell to help support his two young children.
The Australian died on Tuesday aged 36, sparking a huge outpouring of emotion from friends and professional riders.
A gofundme page has now been launched in the hopes of raising $50,000 (£38,000) for Cantwell’s children, Jayce and Elly.
The page says: “After spending a beautiful sunny day amongst friends and family, Australian professional cyclist Jonathan Cantwell lost his battle to mental illness at the young age of 36, leaving family and numerous friends behind.”
Cantwell spent two years in the WorldTour with Saxo-Tinkoff before he joined the Drapac professional continental team in 2014.
He retired that year, having won two stages of the Herald Sun Tour, two stages of the Tour de Taiwan and racing the 2012 Tour de France during his career.
The fundraising page, set up by Mari MacCulloch, said: “None of these achievements will ever come close to the biggest legacy he could possibly have left – his two beautiful kids Jayce and Elly.
“Jonny was not only their emotional figure, but their source of income.
“We would like to ask you for your generosity to help us secure some financial stability for his kids during this period of adaptation and mourning.
“This money will go towards rent, utility bills, education and some much needed psychological support treatment for the kids.”
The fundraising page has been set up in the hopes of raising money for Cantwell’s children and their mother, but also to raise awareness about suicide.
Since it was launched on Wednesday, the campaign has been supported by more than 100 people, raising $14,000 (£10,000) in 11 hours.
Amongst those who have donated are Australian Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michael Mørkøv (Quick-Step Floors), and Koen de Kort (Trek-Segafredo).
The fundraising page added: “The thought that Jayce will not have his father cheering for him at his AFL Games, and Elly will never have her father walk her down the isle, or that their dad won’t be taking them camping again for the weekend, it’s just heart-breaking in an immeasurable way.”
You can view the gofundme page here. (opens in new tab)
Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand. These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness.
These feelings do improve and can be treated. If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
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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.
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