Maltese/Australian cyclist Luke Azzopardi was killed after he was fatally struck by a car in Australia on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Azzopardi was on a training ride near Cairns when he was hit by a car travelling in the opposite direction. He died on the scene.
Azzopardi was a rising cycling star in Australia and had managed to secure the Queensland Junior Championship.
Azzopardi was also a familiar name in Malta as he participated in a number of races in Malta.
The Malta Cycling Federation expressed its sorrow at the passing of Azzopardi.
“On behalf of the Malta Cycling Federation, we send our sincere condolences to all family members. Grant him, O Lord, eternal rest, eternal light shining on him, rest in peace. Amen.”
James Mort, of the Cairns Cycling Club, has led the tributes, saying Azzopardi’s death has attracted condolence messages from leading figures in Australian cycling.
“Luke’s achievements in this sport speak volumes with so much success despite his youthful age,” Mort said on the club’s Facebook page.
“Luke became a state junior champion of road racing and accomplished endurance rider.
“His love and passion of the sport are well known in all cycling circles.
“His dedication was tireless and selfless. He never sought nor wanted recognition for his deeds in sharing his passion for the sport.
“His love radiated through the club and inspired junior riders to enjoy just riding a bike.”
Mort described Azzopardi as unassuming, selfless and “one of the bright lights of our beloved club”.
“His demeanour was the same in victory and defeat, his smile shone through,” he said.
“You will never be forgotten. Your light will remain shining for all to follow.
“Vale Luke Azzopardi, may you always ride with a tailwind.”