Cyclist dies during Highland triathlon

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A cyclist has died while taking part in a gruelling triathlon in Lochaber.

The 54-year-old man was discovered at the side of the road near Roybridge by another cyclist during the Ben Nevis Braveheart race on Saturday.

The event is classed as one of the toughest triathlons in the UK and involves a 1.2-mile sea loch swim, a 56-mile road cycle and a 13-mile hill run to the summit of Ben Nevis and back.

A police spokesman said: “About 12.45pm on Saturday September 15, emergency services were made aware of an incident involving a cyclist on the A86, two miles east of Glenspean Lodge Hotel, Roybridge.

“The 54-year-old male pedal cyclist was conveyed by the Scottish Ambulance Service to Belford Hospital Fort William where he was pronounced dead.

“The road was closed for four hours whilst officers from Dingwall and Fort William Road Policing Units carried out inquiries [at the scene].”

No other vehicles were involved and police said yesterday that it appeared to be a medical incident rather than a road traffic collision.

Ian Currie, owner of the Glenspean Lodge Hotel, said: “There were a lot of cyclists on Saturday and they were going past the lodge, turning round and coming back.

“We are very sorry to hear about this, we don’t want anybody to suffer a tragedy like that.”

The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon is organised by local firm No Fuss Events.

It starts with a 1.2 mile open water swim in Loch Linnhe. The course has two laps and the first lap must be completed in 45 minutes, with wetsuits compulsory.

The 56-mile bike route is all on road. From Fort William, it follows the A82 south along the bypass to the west end roundabout, round the roundabout and back along the bypass following the A82 towards Inverness.

At Spean Bridge, cyclists were directed right and followed the A86 Spean Bridge to Kingussie road out as far as Aberarder, where they were turned to retrace the route back to Fort William.

The race concluded with a 13-mile run up Ben Nevis along the tourist path and back down.