Tears flow during touching tribute for Melissa Hoskins at Australian championships

Melissa Hoskins has been remembered with a minute’s silence before the start of the women’s road race at the Australian road cycling championships.

Riders were emotional on the start line at Buninyong, near Ballarat, on Sunday morning as the 32-year-old mother of two was honoured a week after her death.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Touching tribute for Melissa Hoskins.

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Hoskins, a popular figure in the sport, was a two-time Olympian and world champion.

Kate Bates, also a former Olympic cyclist and now a commentator in the sport, paid tribute to Hoskins.

Brodie Chapman consoles Amanda Spratt during the tribute. Credit: AAP
Riders and support staff observe a minute’s silence. Credit: AAP

“Mel was a beacon of strength, determination and bravery. Her vibrant spirit and resilience inspired everyone around her,” Bates said.

“Mel was a mother, a daughter, a sister, a very much-loved friend and beyond this she was an Olympian, a world beater and one of the best athletes Australian cycling … will ever see.

“As we stand here on the cusp of this race, let us take a moment of silence to remember Mel.

“Let her unyielding spirit inspire us to push forward and to strive for excellence, and to cherish every moment of this race and of our lives.”

The women’s Tour Down Under will also remember Hoskins with a minute’s silence before the start of the first stage on January 12 at Hahndorf, in the Adelaide Hills.

“It’s a really, really hard situation and we feel for everybody involved,” said women’s Tour race director Annette Edmondson, who was a national teammate of Hoskins on the track in the team pursuit.

“There will be moments and it will be tough at times.”

Hoskins died in hospital last week after she was struck by a car on Saturday night in Adelaide’s inner north.

Her husband, two-time world road cycling champion and Olympic medallist Rohan Dennis, faces several driving-related charges over Hoskins’ death.

Hoskins’ family released a statement during the week.

“Words cannot convey our grief, sadness and the tragic circumstances of Melissa’s passing,” they said in a statement.

“Myself, Amanda, Jess and families, are utterly devastated and still struggling to process what has happened.

“Not only have we lost a daughter and sister, her children have lost their mum, a freewheeling spirit, a giver with a big heart, patience and zest for life.

“She was the rock of their life and ours and we need to honour her memory so they can grow up knowing who she was, what she stood for and what she gave to everyone whose life she touched.

“The outpouring of sadness and support has overwhelmed us. In her short life, Melissa has had so many positive touch points in and around the world.”

They added that the funeral will be held in Perth with a memorial service in Adelaide after the Tour Down Under.

“We now need to deal with our grief privately and will be making no further comments. We ask that media please respect our privacy and that of Melissa’s children,” the statement concluded.

– With 7NEWS.com.au

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