Our condolences go out to the family and friends of James Williamson. James was an elite mountain bike racer, the former world solo 24-hour champion, and the editor of Enduro magazine. The Canberra native, 26, died in his sleep during the 722km Absa Cape Epic stage race, one of the highlights of the international endurance cross country mountain biking circuit.
This morning, James’ teammate, Shaun Lewis, could not wake him up. He was rushed to Ceres Private Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. On Monday, James appeared to be in great spirits, writing about the day’s race on his blog:
“Wow, what a day! The start saw us hit up a cobbled climb through a winery before a brief flat section and then yet more climbing, and more, and more…then we were in some awesome singletrack before a long steady climb up to Water Point 1. In between sucking up the pain in my legs as I clung to Shaun’s wheel, I was able to take in the scenery below as we wound our way up the valley. It was sensational and riding in a bunch of guys from all over the world, a new experience for me,” he wrote.
International media director of the Cape Epic race Sonja Güldner-Hamel said: “James was a very enthusiastic mountain bike journalist who had expressed interest to ride the race over the last few years. 2010 was the year that he could fit it into his publishing schedule and he was thrilled to finally be participating in the race.
After yesterday’s Stage 2 through singletrack paradise he was all smiles, repeatedly expressing how he enjoyed yesterday’s route. He’ll be deeply missed in the mountain biking media fraternity.”