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Cycling: Promising Aussie road cyclist killed in Italy

07 july 2011, 13:18
Australian road cyclist Carly Hibberd has been hit and killed by a car while training in Italy, with the country's top cycling stars expressing shock at her death, AFP reports.

The 26-year-old moved to Italy in 2009 to pursue her career as a professional, initially with the Michela Fanini-Record-Rox team.

She moved to the Cassina Rizzardi A Style Fionucci team, based near Como, at the start of the current season.

Cycling Australia said she was on a training ride north of Milan on Wednesday when she was struck by a car. Emergency services flew to the scene by helicopter but were unable to save her.

News of her death sent shockwaves through Australia's cycling community, with leading riders expressing their condolences on microblogging site Twitter.

"I'm very, very sorry, I ride that road too," wrote Australian star Cadel Evans from the Tour de France, where he held off a late charge from Alberto Contador to claim a prestigious victory on the fourth stage on Tuesday.

Richie Porte tweeted from the tour: "Very sad to hear about the death of Carly Hibberd, thoughts are with her family and friends."

Veteran sprinter Robbie McEwen added: "Just read the terribly sad news about the death of Aussie rider Carly Hibberd, sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to her loved ones."

Cycling Australia chief executive Graham Fredericks said the whole cycling fraternity was shocked.

"Carly was following her cycling dream in Italy, doing what she loved to do and enjoying life. Sadly that dream has ended," he said on the organisation's website.

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