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James Williamson, the 2006 Australian Solo 24hr Champion and 2008 World Solo 24hr Champion, died at the Cape Epic in South Africa on Tuesday.
Williamson, 26, a participant at the event and editor of the Australian Enduro mountain bike magazine died in Ceres Private Hospital on Tuesday morning before the start of stage three, after his riding partner Shaun Lewis could not rouse him.
James had an uneventful ride during stage two, feeling completely well with no complaints, according to the Cape Epic’s Web site. The site said Williamson and Lewis ate well Monday night and everyone who spent the afternoon and evening with him said that he was fine. After the first two stages they were in the 18th overall position.
On behalf of the race organisation, Kevin Vermaak, director of the Absa Cape Epic, has expressed his most sincere condolences to James’ partner Nicky, his family and his riding partner Shaun.
“James was a very enthusiastic mountain bike journalist who had expressed interest to ride the race over the last few years,” said Sonja Güldner-Hamel, international media director of the Absa Cape Epic. “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 and repeatedly expressed how he enjoyed yesterday’s route. He will be deeply missed in the mountain biking media fraternity.”