US national road race champion Gwen Inglis has died after a driver allegedly drifted into a bike lane and struck her with his car.
Inglis, the reigning national title holder for the 45-49 age group, had been riding with her husband Mike in Denver on Sunday, May 16, when a car claimed to have been driven by Ryan Montoya drifted into the bike lane and hit her.
Tributes from the Colorado cycling community have been paid to the Inglis, who died in hospital from her injuries.
Executive director of Colorado Cycling, Shawn Farrell, told The Denver Post: “She was a wonderful human being who epitomised everything that is good in sports and humanity, a true advocate of inclusion and the type of person any parent would want their young athlete to look up to.”
The crash happened while Inglis and her husband, a 50 and over national champion, were on a training ride in the Denver suburb of Lakewood at around 10am on Sunday.
The driver Montoya, remained at the scene and was facing potential charges of vehicular homicide involving driving under the influence, or driving under the influence of drugs, police told KDVR.
Inglis, who rode for the Black Swift/Cycleton Cycling team and the Stages Cycling Team was described as the “most humble, most compassionate and fiercest competitor” by friend and former team-mate Megan Hottman.
Barry Lee, another team-mate, said she had “a magical spirit in this elitist and ego-dominated sport”.
He added: “She represented the pure joy and love of the bike and the sport that I so dearly cherish and appreciate. She was the calm and gentle champion with the inner strength, grace and beauty I so respected and was always inspired by.”
The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado said: “There are few words that can express the feeling of loss for any of our cycling community, and Gwen was a particularly special person.”
“She was a multiple national and state champion on the bike and very well known across the cycling community in Colorado. Even more impressive was her character off the bike. Knowing Gwen, you would immediately be aware of her strongest qualities. She consistently brought joy into all her relationships, and she openly accepted everyone.”
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