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37-year-old cycling champ dies days after winning national race

Rab Wardell, who won the Scottish MTB XC Championships on Sunday, suffered cardiac arrest and could not be saved, his partner said.
Sport - Commonwealth Games 2014 - Mountain Bike Trails Opening
Rab Wardell at the official opening of the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails in Glasgow in June 2013.Danny Lawson / PA Images via Getty Images file

Scottish cyclist Rab Wardell, 37, died unexpectedly Tuesday after he suffered cardiac arrest, his partner said.

Wardell went into cardiac arrest Tuesday morning while the couple were lying in bed, Katie Archibald, an Olympic medalist in track cycling, said on social media Wednesday.

“I tried and tried, and the paramedics arrived within minutes, but his heart stopped and they couldn’t bring him back,” she wrote. “Mine stopped with it. I love him so much and need him here with me. I need him here so badly, but he’s gone. I can’t describe this pain.”

Scottish Cycling confirmed the death.

“We have very little information at this stage, but we send our love and support to his family, friends and all those in the cycling community who knew him,” the organization said in a statement.

Wardell won a national mountain biking race, the Scottish MTB XC Championships, on Sunday despite suffering three punctures during the elite men’s competition, according to Scottish Cycling, the sport’s governing body in the country.

“Rab was a brilliant rider, friend and ambassador for our sport, and will be sorely missed by so many," British Cycling said on Twitter.

Wardell, who was born and raised in Dunfermline, began cycling and mountain biking as a sport when he was 15, according to his online biography. “If it has two wheels and handlebars then I’m probably going to like it,” he wrote.

Scottish cyclist Chris Hoy, a seven-time Olympic medalist for Great Britain, called Wardell “a kind, talented, funny guy who you’ll never ever hear a bad word about.”