The domestic cycling scene has been left in shock after the death of Under-16 National Trophy Cyclocross Series winner Charlie Craig.
The 15-year-old from Derbyshire died in his sleep on Friday night, news that was broken by his dad Nick Craig, himself the reigning veteran National Trophy Cyclocross and National Cross-Country MTB Series champion and a former senior national champion.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
“Yesterday, our world fell apart,” he said on Facebook. “Our beautiful lovely little boy Charlie went to sleep but never woke up. I don’t know what else to write just now, but he will be with his little angel niece.”
His announcement quickly brought hundreds of comments, with sympathy pouring in from throughout the close-knit cycling community.
Among them was reigning national cyclocross champion Nikki Brammeier, who said: “I’m so sorry for you and the family Nick. As everyone is, I’m totally devastated for you and your lovely family. Hoping you can find the strength within each other to help the pain.”
Former national cyclocross champion Chris Wreghitt, said: “Nick, I am devastated for you. You will need time to grieve but then in your own time lean on friends who I hope will in some way help you to recover from this terrible loss. My thoughts are with you.”
And Giles Pidcock – father of reigning European junior cyclocross champion Tom Pidcock – said: “So sorry to hear this Nick. It makes everything else seem totally unimportant. Our thoughts are with you.”
Charlie Craig secured the 2016 National Trophy Cyclocross Series in style, winning two rounds and placing second in another two to secure the title. And in the National Championship title race in Bradford earlier this month, he was pipped for the gold medal by less than a second after a race-long entertaining battle.
The 2016 season saw his talent blossom, and many were tipping Charlie to go on to become a world-class rider.
But as well as cyclocross, Charlie was a strong rider in mountain biking too, finishing seventh in the British MTB Cross-Country Series in the youth men’s category, culminating in third place in the final round at Cannock Chase in August.