A CYCLIST has died after coming off his bike during the Vélo Birmingham & Midlands.
It happened at about 7.45am on Sunday in Atherstone on Coleshill Road – a rural road with a steep downhill section with tight left and right bends.
A medic with the bike ride event was first on scene and immediately called for ambulance back up for the victim believed to have been in his 50s.
A West Midlands Air Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The middle aged man suffered serious injuries.
“He received advanced life support before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire but sadly died later.
“A second patient who was present at the scene was treated by event medical staff.”
Some 17,000 cyclists took part in the event, riding either 42 or 100 miles. The man who died had ridden 23 miles when he came off.
The ride set off from Birmingham, passing through north Warwickshire, the centre of Coventry, Balsall Common, Knowle and Solihull, before finishing back in Birmingham.
Event organisers tweeted: “We’ve been humbled by all the positive feedback we have received from you so far, but unfortunately it’s been a day of mixed emotions for us. We are saddened to report that a rider taking part in the event has passed away after being airlifted to hospital.
“We are currently working closely with Warwickshire Police and authorities to establish the exact circumstances surrounding this incredibly sad development. The rider’s family have been informed and all our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
Police have appealed for witnesses.
Sgt Shaun Bridle from Warwickshire Police said: “While investigations are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident, we are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed it.
“We are particularly trying to identify any cyclists who may have seen anything or who may have GoPro camera footage from around the time of the incident to please get in touch.
“Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family at this difficult time.”
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 84 of May 12.