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Australian Cycling Championships: A moving homage to an Olympian

  • Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins, a former world champion, died tragically on December 30.
  • Relatives and the close-knit Australian cycling community have showered Ms. Hoskins with tributes.
  • Despite her modest upbringing, Ms. Hoskins went on to lead a brief but remarkable life.

Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins, a former world champion, died tragically on December 30, purportedly after her husband Rohan Dennis hit her with a fancy automobile outside their $2.45 million home.

Allegations have been made against the former Olympian and world champion cyclist for reckless driving, endangering life, and causing her death. Relatives and the close-knit Australian cycling community have showered Ms. Hoskins with tributes.

Melissa Hoskins

In her memory, there was a minute’s silence before the women’s road race at the National Road Cycling Championships in Ballarat. The national champion was Ruby Roseman-Gannon, who was a member of Hoskins’s previous team, Jayco Al-Ula.

Hoskins’ sister Jess, parents Peter and Amanda, and other family members described her as a “freewheeling spirit” and “a giver with a big heart, patience, and zest for life.” Her children had also lost their cherished mother, and the family acknowledged this when they claimed they were “utterly devastated and still struggling to process what has happened.”

Despite her modest upbringing, Ms. Hoskins went on to lead a brief but remarkable life. She began riding competitively at the age of sixteen, focusing on endurance races. She later enrolled in the Murdoch University Elite Athlete Program from 2010 to 2012, however, she did not finish her Bachelor of Sports Science there. An initiative of the Australian Institute of Sport and Sport Australia, the program provides academic support to outstanding athletes.

Ms. Hoskins and Mr. Dennis fell in love on the trackside in 2012, during the London Olympics. They alternated between La Massana in Andorra, Adelaide, and Girona in Spain. After moving into their colonial mansion in Adelaide, the couple who loved to travel had two kids.

A few days before Ms. Hoskins’ untimely death, Mr. Dennis shared pictures of his family on social media, including one from a recent trip to view the pyramids in Egypt and a joyful picture taken in front of their Christmas tree. The facts of her death have not yet been disclosed by the police.

AusCycling’s chief executive, Marne Fechner, called Ms. Hoskins’ passing a “tragic incident,” noting that in addition to being a champion cyclist who amazed and inspired everyone with her amazing skills on the road and track, she was also a mother, daughter, and wife.

Melissa Hoskins, a former track cyclist, passed away at the age of 67. One of her career highlights was winning the gold medal for the team Pursuit at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. After learning of her passing, Anna Meares remarked how saddened she was and how her friends and family were in her thoughts. Dennis Dennis, along with his parents and friends, has been spotted outside his family home since Hoskins’ passing.

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