Former cyclist Melissa Hoskins, 32, an Olympic track runner at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, died on the last day of the year in a hospital in Adelaide (Australia) a few hours after being hit by a van in a street near her home. house House. Shortly after, police arrested her husband, Jumbo rider and two-time world time trial champion Rohan Dennis, who was driving the vehicle. Charged with manslaughter for dangerous driving, reckless driving and endangering life, Dennis, 33, was released on bail with a requirement to appear in Adelaide Magistrates’ Court in March.
The couple, married since 2018 and father of two children, appeared on the site the Web of the Santos Tour Down Under, the first WorldTour race of the year, in mid-January, as organizer of a family cycling event to be held in 2024 in Adelaide, but the data has been removed from the site the Web.
No Australian media, neither the police nor the court, raises the possibility that the accident and the death of the cyclist was a case of gender violence. However, the cycling world immediately remembered the news of an event that occurred just over two years ago in the Andorran town of La Massana, where the couple lived, as well as dozens of professional cyclists from around the world entire. On October 21, 2021, Andorra Police reported that a woman in a state of shock She had asked for help on the road because, she said, she was fleeing her home where she had been attacked by her partner. A truck driver pulled up alongside her and called police, who soon after arrested her husband, a 31-year-old Australian professional cyclist, on charges of domestic violence. The name of this cyclist, whose anographic data and profession coincide with those of Dennis, has never been officially published. Some platoon teammates, in private conversations, always stated that in fact the aggressor was Dennis.
If Australian justice finally accuses him of homicide in the context of domestic violence, Dennis’ case would recall that of South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, in prison since 2013 serving a 15-year prison sentence for having shot his little one friend, model Reeva Steenkamp. A few weeks ago, the Pretoria court announced that Pistorius, 37, would be conditionally released next January.
A high-class cyclist with an anarchic and fickle character who ruined his chances of success in the great classics or stage events, Dennis, time trial world champion in 2018 and 2019, and Olympic bronze medalist in Tokyo, rode in the best teams in the world. He began his career in the WorldTour with Garmin (now EF), based in Girona, a North American team from which he joined BMC, with whom he even became the short-lived leader of the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta in Spain. and the Tour de France thanks to its prologue status. After an eventful year in Bahrain, a team suddenly left halfway through the 2019 Tour, upon his arrival in the Pyrenees, he found himself at Ineos, where he showed a little-known side, that of an extraordinary mountaineer. With epic performances at the giant Stelvio and Sestriere, Dennis destroyed the Portuguese João Almeida, Jersey got up and took his companion Tao Geoghegan to the Jersey final rose. In 2022 he signed for Jumbo, where his last serve helped Primož Roglič win the 2023 Giro.
Midway through the year, he announced that he would hang up his bike on December 31, 2023.