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By VeloNews Interactive
Race Across America competitor Bob Breedlove was killed Thursday when he collided with an oncoming pick-up truck some 28 miles west of Trinidad, Colorado.
According to a news release issued by race organizers confirmed that Breedlove was involved in the collision around 10:15 local time on Thursday morning. Paramedics who arrived on the scene soon after pronounced him dead.
The accident took place on a section of road that sloped very gently downhill for cyclists in the race. According to the driver of the pickup truck, Breedlove appeared to slump on his bicycle and swerved into the path of the oncoming vehicle.
The driver attempted to avoid Breedlove, but was unable to.
At the time of the accident, Bob Breedlove was leading the 50+ category, and was 12th overall in the race.
Race director Jim Pitre announced that after meeting with Breedlove’s brother, Bill, the competition would continue. Bill Breedlove considered that his brother would have wished this.
Pitre added that if a rider or team decides to pull out of the race, the management and officials will provide assistance wherever practicable.
“This is a terrible tragedy, just terrible,” Pitre said. “We all stand in awe of the memory of Bob Breedlove, who was a supreme cycle racer, an outstanding surgeon, and just a great human being. Speaking both personally, and on behalf of the entire management and all those associated with the race, I extend my most sincere sympathy to the family of Bob Breedlove.”
The support vehicle was providing leapfrog support to Bob Breedlove at the time of the accident. Bob Breedlove was last seen by his crew members about a mile before the accident took place.
“He seemed fine, we passed him a PowerBar and a Spizz (energy drink), and he went on his way,” said one of the crew members.
Skidmarks leading off the road to the right suggest that the driver of the vehicle did what he could to avoid a collision.
“It seemed like he must have passed out, he slumped on his bars. He just swerved right into our lane,” said the distraught driver, who hurried to the next town immediately after the accident and made the 911 call himself.