A 28-year-old man is facing charges of culpable homicide and drunk driving after allegedly hitting and killing veteran cyclist Greg Anderson‚ 57.
Anderson’s team was 2nd on the podium in the Absa Cape Epic this year in the veterans’ age group.
He was doing a training ride on Sunday morning in Hazyview‚ near the Kruger National Park where he was on holiday‚ when he was hit by a car.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said a man had been arrested for the crash and would appear in the White River Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Many people paid tribute to Anderson on Twitter and Facebook with the word “gentleman” frequently used to describe him.
Anderson’s 2015 Cape Epic cycling partner Andrew Mclean told The Times‚ Anderson was an “unbelievable gentleman” off the bike.
“But when cycling he was a fiercely competitive.”
“He was almost two sides to him‚ which was often joked about.”
Greg would train really hard to do as well as he possibly could‚ he said.
“He would think nothing of finishing a training ride and turning around and doing another hour of training.
“He is obviously well known in the cycling fraternity and has been riding for many years and very successfully.”
Former Springbok rugby player turned mountain biker Joel Stransky tweeted: “Tragic news! RIP Greg Anderson. Thoughts and prayers for Colleen and boys!”
Anderson is survived by his wife Colleen and his three sons‚ Robbie‚ Ryan and Nick.
He and his wife Colleen were commuting between Johannesburg where he worked and Cape Town where his sons were at UCT.
In 2013‚ the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup under-23 men’s cross-country 2009 and Cape Epic rider Burry Stander was killed by a taxi driver. The driver was later sentenced to three years for culpable homicide
Mclean who is the director of Cycle Lab‚ a group of cycling stores‚ said cycling deaths happened all over the world but in South Africa things may be a little worse for cyclists.
“South Africa does not have a culture of cycling.”
He said South African drivers were “intolerant” of cyclists and think: “What are you doing in the road?”
“In terms of the law‚ cyclists are entitled to same space as a vehicle and must be given a wide berth.”
He said that in Europe‚ when someone is driving a car‚ they may have a husband or wife on the road at the same time on their bike‚ explaining that drivers were more tolerant and careful of cyclists.
On top of intolerance‚ South Africa has a culture of not following rules of the road‚ he said.
“Drivers think nothing of texting while driving which is a danger to cyclists.
“It is easy to drift over when texting. When you hit a cyclist you dent a car but the cyclist can be killed.
“It is worth mentioning that South Africa does not have cycling lanes.”
Source: TMG Digital.