Cyclist dies after RideLondon event

Cyclists at Ranmore CommonThousands of elite and amateur cyclists took part in the event on Sunday

A cyclist has died after collapsing during the RideLondon event through London and Surrey.

Kris Cook, 36, had a cardiac arrest at Newlands Corner, near Guildford, during the RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday.

RideLondon organisers said he was treated by doctors at the scene and taken to hospital but later pronounced dead.

Thousands of people took part in the public bike ride, which was cut from 100 to 86 miles after weather warnings.

A spokeswoman for Prudential RideLondon said: “Kris was part of a group of 12 riders raising money for Woking Hospice. His mother said that he had died doing something he loved and welcomed donations in Kris’s memory to his Woking Hospice fundraising page.

“The organisers of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 would like to express their sincere condolences to Kris’s family and friends.”

‘Ride stopped’

Mr Cook, who was from Woking, had been riding with his girlfriend Nicola Tait.

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I hope the family take comfort in the fact that he was really looked after”

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Heather Hayward

She told Get Surrey the last thing he said was “I’ll meet you at the top of the hill Nic”.

Ms Tait said after he collapsed he was given CPR and electric shock treatment before being taken to hospital.

Heather Hayward, from Ashford, Kent, who witnessed Mr Cook falling ill, paid tribute to the response for medical staff.

She said: “I was behind Kris when he went down. The ride was stopped and we all waited whilst he was being worked on.

“The medics and police were fantastic, and tried so hard to bring him back. We saw them doing CPR for a long time.

“I hope the family take comfort in the fact that he was really looked after.

“The police moved their bikes to make a screen around him to give privacy and dignity.”

Cyclists ride past the Houses of Parliament in central LondonRiders faced wet and windy conditions on Sunday

Nigel Harding, chief executive of Woking Hospice, said: “The whole hospice and all of our supporters are reeling.

“Everybody is in a state of shock.

“Nicola said his main purpose was to raise as much money as he possibly could.

“He was a really great guy.”

Mr Harding said Ms Tait had told him Mr Cook was “the most wonderful, beautiful soul” she had ever met.

‘Lovely man’

Friends have being making donations and paying tribute to Mr Cook on his online fundraising page, which had a £500 target but has now raised more than £12,000 for Woking Hospice.

Gloria Benson said: “Love and prayers to those left behind to morn your loss Kris.

“You were such a lovely man and I just know the Lord has you in his arms keeping you safe now.”

Kathy and Richard Rendall wrote: “Such terribly sad news, it was a pleasure to have known you Kris. Our thoughts are with your family.”

“Proud to have ridden the first 10 miles with you Kris. RIP,” posted Karen Sutton.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out to establish the cause of Mr Cook’s death.

Surrey Police Ch Insp Dave Mason said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Kris Cook, the cyclist who tragically died after being taken ill during the Ride London-Surrey event yesterday.”

More than 20,000 people took part in the RideLondon-Surrey 100, which started at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London and travelled through the city to Surrey before making its way back into London and finishing outside Buckingham Palace.

A section covering Leith Hill and Box Hill in Surrey was missed out because of the wet and windy weather conditions.

The elite race featured 2012 Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins but was won by fellow British rider Adam Blythe.

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