A 37-year-old professional Scottish mountain biker died from a heart attack in his sleep just days after winning the Scottish bike championship, according to reports.
Cyclist Rab Wardell died of a heart attack on Tuesday, August 23.
Rab Wardell had just claimed victory on the elite men’s title at the Scottish MTB XC Championships, which took place over the weekend in Dumfries and Galloway.
Rab appeared on BBC Scotland’s ‘The Nine’ days before his death, discussing his victory despite suffering three flat tires.
“Unfortunately, I’m probably a little bit too well practiced in managing punctures,” Rab said when asked how he contained himself with three punctures.
“To be honest it was a bit of a disaster,” he added.
“But just have to keep on trucking and keep racing.”
“I guess I still felt confident that I’d be able to catch the leaders and win so yeah, just gave it my best shot. What more can you do?” he said.
In an article posted on his website, Rab wrote about his ambitions:
“If you put me on the spot I’d tell you that my ambition is to be the best mountain bike marathon rider I can be. It’s the discipline I enjoy the most and the courses tick all the boxes of why I enjoy riding and racing a bike,” he wrote.
The Scottish Cross Country Association extended its condolences to Rab’s family after learning of his untimely and unexpected death.
“We have the saddest news to share with you all today,” SXC wrote on their Facebook page.
“We are devastated to relay to you the tragic news that our friend, our Champion Rab Wardell has died overnight. Our deepest sympathy to his friends, family, and loved ones.
“He will be truly missed by our community and his determination, talent and friendship will live on in all our hearts and memories.”
“I’m sure more eloquent words will be written by many but RIP Rab. Our Champion, Our Inspiration, Our Friend,” the post concluded.
British Cycling also paid their respect:
“We are devastated to confirm the news that international mountain biker & former employee, Rab Wardell, has passed away today.”
“We have very little information at this stage, but we send our love & support to his family, friends & all those in our community who knew him.
“We ask that you respect Rab’s family’s privacy at this incredibly sad time,” the post concluded.