England

Man, 48, dies after London to Brighton cycle ride

  • 21 June 2010
  • From the section England
Riders cross the finishing line
Riders greeted the crowd as they crossed the finish line in Brighton

A 48-year-old man has died in hospital after he collapsed while taking part in the London to Brighton bike ride.

Ambulance staff resuscitated Gary Allen after he collapsed going up Ditchling Beacon, outside Brighton, at 1340 BST on Sunday.

Mr Allen, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, was taken to hospital in Brighton, where he later died.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF), which organises the event, said it was investigating the circumstances.

It said Mr Allen's death was the seventh in the 35-year history of the charity bike ride.

'Very sad'

Ch Insp Laurence Taylor, of Sussex Police, said: "This was a tragic incident and our sympathies go to the man's family.

"Medical staff accessed the scene quickly with St John Ambulance, paramedics and air ambulance attending, and the man was taken to hospital by ambulance under police escort.

"It is very sad that he later died."

Sussex Police said the death had been reported to the coroner's office.

Following his collapse, cyclists en route were stopped ahead of the beacon, the third highest point in the South Downs National Park.

Sussex Police said nearly 30,000 cyclists took part in Sunday's bike ride, which is thought to be Europe's largest charity cycling event. Last year, it raised £4.1m.

Traffic delays

Mr Taylor said the closure of the hill added to delays to traffic caused by the numbers of cyclists riding through Sussex.

"I appreciate everyone's understanding and support during the day," said Mr Taylor.

Cyclists began the 54-mile (87km) journey in staggered starts at Clapham Common in south London from 0600 BST.

They cycled through Surrey and reached the seafront in an average of six hours.

Nancy Prior, head of events at the BHF, said: "We are deeply saddened that someone has died following the ride yesterday and extend our sincere condolences to their friends and family.

"We are fully co-operating with the police and other authorities to investigate the circumstances."

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites