UK & World News
Junior Heffernan: Cyclist Dies During Race
A cyclist has died in a collision with a car as he competed in an annual road race in Gloucestershire.
Junior Heffernan, known as "The Heff", was taking part in the 41st Severn Bridge Road Race near Olveston when he and the car collided, the race organiser confirmed.
It happened on the third lap of the 10-lap race, which was immediately abandoned.
British Cycling offered its condolences to the family and friends of the 23-year-old, from Yelverton in Devon, who rode with the Herbalife-Leisure Lakes team.
The organisation's president, Brian Cookson, said: "This is a tragedy which will profoundly sadden everyone associated with cycling in this country. My thoughts are with Junior's family and with his friends."
A spokesman for the British Road Club, which organises the event, added: "This is an awful tragedy."
The race features laps of a 6.6 mile circuit, and is described as one of the country's leading and longest running early-season road race events, dating back to the 1960s.
Writing on his internet blog, Ride With The Heff, on Friday, Mr Heffernan said he was about to compete with his new team for the first time.
He wrote: "This will be my first race alongside members of my new team, Team HerbalifeLeisurelakesbikes.com, proper racing! Plus my new kit arrived this week from Santini.
"I'll leave you with a sneak preview of my new kit, and follow up with some (hopefully) good news after the weekend!"
Tributes have been paid to the cyclist on Twitter.
Triathlete Vanessa Raw wrote: "Dreadful news on Junior Heffernan, thoughts go out to family and friends. RIP"
Former Olympian Brian Smith added: "saddened to hear the news about Junior Heffernan ... my condolences go to his family and friends ... RIP"
Nina McArthur tweeted: "Sad to hear Junior Heffernan fatally collided with a car today in a bike race ... remember him racing when I did."