Devon Cyclist Dies In Collision

A cyclist has died after being involved in a collision as he competed in an annual road race in Gloucestershire.

Junior Heffernan died as the result of the collision during the 41st Severn Bridge Road Race near Olveston yesterday, the race organiser confirmed.

The 23-year-old, from Yelverton in Devon, who rode with the Herbalife-Leisure Lakes team, was involved in a collision with a car on the third lap of the 10-lap race, which was immediately abandoned. British Cycling offered its condolences to the family and friends of Mr Heffernan. 

The organisation's president, Brian Cookson, said: "This is a tragedy which will profoundly sadden everyone associated with cycling in this country. My thoughts are with Junior's family and with his friends.'' 

A spokesman for the British Road Club, which organises the event, said: "This is an awful tragedy.'' The spokesman declined to comment any further. 

The race features laps of a 6.6 mile circuit, and is described as one of the country's leading and longest-running early-season road race events, dating back to the 1960s. 

Writing on his internet blog, Ride With The Heff, on Friday before this weekend's racing, Mr Heffernan said he was about to compete with his new team for the first time. He wrote: 

"This will be my first race alongside members of my new team, Team, proper racing! Plus my new kit arrived this week from Santini. I'll leave you with a sneak preview of my new kit, and follow up with some (hopefully) good news after the weekend!''