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Tributes paid to cyclist who died of suspected heart attack during Tour de Bristol

Paul Withey regularly took part in charity sporting events

A 42-year-old Bristol man has died while taking part in the Tour de Bristol charity ride. Paul Withey suffered a suspected heart attack while climbing Wrington Hill on Saturday and despite other riders rushing to help, he sadly died at the scene.

The Western Daily Press reports that Withey was one of 650 riders riding the Tour de Bristol, which was raising funds for St Peter’s Hospice. He was tackling the longest 75km route.

South Western Ambulance Service has confirmed it received a call at 11am regarding a cyclist suffering cardiac arrest. A rapid response vehicle, ambulance crews and air ambulance were dispatched and CPR was carried out.

A post mortem is set to be carried out to confirm the cause of death.

In a statement, Withey’s family said:

"He was such an amazing father and friend and was loved by so many people. Nothing is helping the pain at the moment but all the messages we are receiving as a family emphasise how popular and loved he was.

"This was one of many charity events he was involved in, last summer he rode from Bristol to Amsterdam and has completed several charity runs. His family always came first, very closely followed by Bristol Rovers. We are proud to call him our dad/son/brother."

The chief executive of St Peter’s Hospice, Simon Caraffi, also took part in the ride. He offered his condolences to Withey’s family and thanked both the riders and emergency services who helped him.

"We are all shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Paul Withey. I was on the ride myself and learned the terrible news as I finished. He received immediate CPR from other cyclists on the tour and was attended to by a medi-bike and an ambulance within minutes.

"Unfortunately they were unable to save him. I was on the road and came across the incident as emergency services were already there. The route was closed while investigations were completed, so we re-routed riders and the event was able to continue, despite this sad tragedy, without further incident.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with Paul's family and friends at this difficult time and I'd like to pay tribute to the participants and emergency services who helped at the scene, as well as the riders who cooperated brilliantly while we changed the route.

"Your respectful support was much appreciated. This sad incident has cast a shadow over a magnificent day of fundraising by the wonderful people of Bristol."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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