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Cycling star killed in accident -

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Cycling star killed in accident

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: And now to the road accident that claimed the life of rising cycling star Amy
Gillett, and put five of her team mates in hospital. Two are fighting for their lives tonight in a
German hospital, while the close-knit elite cycling community tries to make sense of the tragedy.
Tom Iggulden reports.

TOM IGGULDEN: They were the budding flowers of Australia's women's road cycling team, ready to
burst into bloom at next year's Commonwealth Games. On a late afternoon training run on a quiet
country road in east Germany, an out-of-control teenage driver ended those dreams in a heartbeat.

BRIAN AUSTIN, COACH: From what we hear, unfortunately a car has swerved on to the wrong side of the
road and collected them, all six of them.

TOM IGGULDEN: In the carnage, Australia lost Amy Gillet, one of it's most promising rising stars.

MIKE SAFE, AMY GILLETT'S UNCLE: I think of her as sort of the quintessential Australian sports
girl, you know. She's sort of blonde and she's sunny and she's always out there and she's always
having a go. She's all those things you read about and you see on posters.

TOM IGGULDEN: Quintessential perhaps, but Amy Gillet was more than just a gifted cyclist. A PhD
student at the University of South Australia, the Adelaide-born 29-year-old was lured to cycling
after a successful rowing career, including a world junior championship and rowing for Australia at
the Atlanta Olympics. In 2001 she'd survived multiple skull fractures while racing in Canberra, yet
continued pursuing the sport she loved. She was fancied as a medal chance in Melbourne next year.
In a couple of weeks, she was due to meet up with her husband for a holiday in Italy before making
her charge for Commonwealth Games glory.

MIKE SAFE: She was the kind who always gave 100 per cent and if you won gold medals for effort she
would have a row of them.

TOM IGGULDEN: Five of Gillet's team mates also injured in the accident remain in hospital. Louise
Yaxley and Alexis Rhodes are in critical condition. The car's driver and the other cyclists, Katie
Brown, sister of Athens' Olympic cycling gold medallist Graham Brown, Kate Nichols, daughter of Los
Angels Olympic cycling gold medallist Kevin Nichols, and Lorian Graham are listed as stable. Even
if the surviving members overcome their physical injuries, there's doubts about whether the team
will be able to compete in Melbourne.

SARA CARRIGAN, OLYMPIC CYCLIST: Numb.

WOMAN: Complete and utter shock.

SARA CARRIGAN: Yeah, you can't explain it. It's a friend.

LORNA GRAHAM, LORIAN GRAHAM'S MOTHER: They live and eat it. I mean, that's all they do is get up
and ride and come home and sleep and get up and ride again. So, yes, it's very devastating for all
of them.

TOM IGGULDEN: Leaders of both the major political parties offered their condolences.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: I would like to express my great sadness about the terrible accident,
which has affected the Australia women's cycling team in Germany. It's one of those awful
tragedies.

TOM IGGULDEN: A memorial will be held in the German town where the team was due to compete next
week. Tom Iggulden, Lateline.