Wednesday 19 January 2011
It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of British Cycling member Lewis Balyckyi in a cycling accident on the road on Tuesday evening. Lewis, who was until recently a member of the British Cycling Talent Team, was just 18 years old and a rider of great promise. The thoughts of everyone at British Cycling are with his family and friends.
Lewis Balyckyi winning the first race at the new Tameside circuit, summer 2010
Speaking to the Press Association, Lewis' father Kevin paid tribute to his son:
"Lewis was every parent's dream, he never had a frown on his face, always laughing. Whenever he was around, the people he was with were uplifted and always felt better for the experience. His cheeky smile winning even the sternest of people over.
"He was a fighter from the moment he was born eight weeks prematurely, he blossomed into the strapping man that he was, the fittest person I knew, and a resolve like no other. He battled against a stammer with typical vigour, like taking a job as a waiter, he never shied away from any challenge.
"From the age of eight he raced his cycle all over the country, discovering a flair for winning that inspired his competitors to push themselves harder than they ever thought possible, although he was always down to earth and willing to help and give advice to whoever asked for it, even to his own detriment.
"Sadly this was snatched away in an instant less than five miles away from home when he was doing what he loved - riding his bike.
"Myself, his mum and his sister are absolutely devastated, along with the rest of his family and friends. He was an inspiration to me, as well as being my best friend, and I will miss him terribly. We have been left with a massive hole in our lives that will never be filled."
Investigations into the collision, which occured at around 5pm in the village of Bretherton, are continuing. Anyone with information should contact police on 08451 253545 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.