What a shame. I'd heard about the crash but no details on those involved. God help us all on the roads today and on our future rides. Sometimes I have this indestructible feeling when riding until I pass a little roadkill, that keeps me grounded.
I am saddened to hear about Kristy's death. I am disturbed by the number of cyclists killed on the road. Competing against motor vehicles for space on the road is never fun and always dangerous. Even a skilled cyclist like Kristy wasn't safe.
I don't know what else to say... this is all so horrible.
Chin up, face forward.
Pounds lost: 12.5
Fitness Minutes: (19,560) Posts: 984 3/10/08 3:22 A
My fellow cyclists, It is with a heavy heart that I have to post such a tragic message on this forum, but as you all know there are MANY dangers out there on the roads when we are out on our rides.
Kristy was an EXTREMELY strong athlete who I could only think of in awe, she will be sorely missed by all of us in the racing community =(
Tribute written by a close friend of Kristy's
Kristy Gough was a champion triathlete who had been training exclusively as a bicyclist in recent months and, according to her friends, winning just about every road race she entered. When she was fatally struck today, she and two companions were at the front of a pack of cyclists on a training ride in preparation for another race next weekend.
"I've never seen her so enthusiastic as in the last couple of months," said Clas Björling, a champion Swedish triathlete who was Gough's longtime sweetheart. "She was a really talented athlete, especially on the bike. She was so strong physically and mentally."
A friend and fellow cyclist, Matt Willinger, said Gough had hit her stride as a cyclist and was working with a pair of trainers from Belarus.
"They were ecstatic about her progress and what they thought she would do in cycling," said Willinger, who works with the same trainers. "She wanted to pursue Ironman triathlons. They had different plans for her. They wanted her to go to the Olympics and to world championships for cycling.... She was on her way to something great."
Gough, who grew up in San Leandro, had been a swimmer and ran cross-country at the Madeira School, a boarding school in Virginia, friends said. But it wasn't until she got to Chabot College in Hayward, where she and Willinger met, that she became passionate about triathlons.
"She just felt free," said Willinger. "When you're working at your peak, you don't have to think about anything else. It's very liberating."
As an amateur triathlete, Gough won in her age group in the 2004 Ironman Hawaii triathlon.
"That's the world championship; the biggest you can win as an amateur," said Björling by telephone from his home in Sweden.
Her biggest achievement as a professional triathlete was finishing third in the Ironman in the United Kingdom in 2006.
Friends described Gough as quiet and introspective, even a bit tough on the outside, but full of warmth and with a wicked sense of humor she shared with those who got to know her.
Tanya Grossman, another longtime friend, met Gough almost dozen years ago when Gough started training with a group of athletes connected with a triathlon shop owned by Grossman's husband.
"She was just this young girl who was fast and kicked everyone's butt," said Grossman. "The guys didn't like it. She was faster than most of them."
Grossman persuaded Gough to join her at a training camp in New Zealand in 2004, and the two biked and ran and swam and traveled around the country. "You know you're good friends with someone when you can share a room and sometimes a bed with them for three months and still like them at the end," said Grossman.
Then, choking up, she added: "She has grown into a woman with such depth. I wasn't done with her yet as a friend."
It was in New Zealand that Gough met Björling. The couple trained together and divided their time between the SF Bay Area and Sweden, where they cycled almost 250 miles across the country.
The couple last saw each other a year ago, before Björling returned home to Sweden to take care of a serious health problem, but their relationship had only deepened over the telephone in recent months, he said.
Gough's outlook on life was shaped in part by a childhood that included divorced parents and a lot of moving around, said Björling.
"When I met her, she already knew what was important in life: take it day by day. Don't spend too much energy on details, but try to see the big picture," he said. "As we see today, life can change in a second, so why make long term plans?"
Willinger had intended to be on the same training ride with Gough in Cupertino today, he said, but he overslept so he went cycling by himself.
"I would have been right there with her," he said by telephone this evening. "When you're on your bicycle, you're very vulnerable. You have a lot of close calls.... Everyone's in a rush, but you've got to chill out and be careful."
Rest In Peace Kristy, and Matt...Where ever you are, I know it has become a better place because of your presence.
THE NEWS STORY...
[Two bicyclists were killed and another suffered critical injuries after being struck by a Santa Clara Sheriff's patrol car that crossed the center line along a roadway in Cupertino on Sunday, according to authorities.
The Sheriff's Department said a deputy was traveling northbound on Stevens Creek Road near Montobello Road around 10:30 a.m., when his vehicle crossed the centerline and struck the bicyclists who were traveling southbound.
Immediately following the crash, the deputy exited his vehicle, rendered aid and requested emergency medical assistance, officials said.
A 29-year-old San Francisco man was pronounced dead at the scene, Sheriff's Sgt. Don Morrissey said. A second bicyclist was airlifted to Stanford Medical Center and later pronounced dead by doctors.
A third cyclist was taken by ground ambulance to Stanford and was listed in critical but stable condition.
"The entire agency is deeply saddened by this tragic incident,'' said Morrissey. "Our thoughts and prayers are with family of the victim and everyone involved.''
"We just lost a couple of phenomenal human beings. The fact that they were tremendous athletes is really beyond the point as well, although they both were. Christy was on her way to the Olympic trials, and Matt was a phenomenal rider. It's very distressing," said Gebhart Evanhook, who was riding just behind the two cyclists who died.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and the deputy was placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of that probe.
Witnesses said they overheard the deputy say he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. While the deputy was on patrol, he was not responding to a call, or speeding at the time of the crash, authorities said.]
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