Damion Drapac, son of cycling team owner and sponsor Michael Drapac, was killed in a car-bike crash late last week. A driver struck Drapac, 30, as he rode to a bike race near Melbourne, Australia. Drapac, who had been expecting his first child, only recently returned to cycling after leaving the sport for a medical career.

Drapac’s racing career began in 2006, his first of four years with Drapac–Porsche, an Australian Continental team that later became Drapac Cannondale. After a nearly 10-year break from competitive cycling, he returned to the peloton in November. Michael Drapac wrote that despite his busy life as a doctor, “by March Damion had clearly returned to a quasi-elite level, having won over 10 races and innumerable seconds.”
But all that was tragically cut short late last week, when a driver struck and killed Drapac as he rode his bike to a race.
Drapac had been en route to the Anzac Day Classic, a road race near Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday afternoon. According to reports, the driver had been traveling in the opposite direction and struck Drapac head-on. Police are investigating what caused the crash, and the unidentified driver is reportedly cooperating.
Drapac died at the scene, though his identity was not revealed until Saturday, when his father’s Drapac Cannondale Holistic Development Team confirmed his death.
Drapac’s father also shared a statement on his son’s rekindled love of racing, his work as a doctor and small-business owner (he bought and sold vintage bicycles and parts), and his devotion to his partner Mariko, with whom he was expecting his first child.
Since Damion’s death, Michael Drapac has publicly called for more bike lanes and stronger road laws in Australia, saying that they “would save lives in this country.” He also asked for a “change of attitude” from drivers to be more aware and respectful toward cyclists. (Tekst: http://www.bicycling.com; foto: Brunswick Cycling Club; met dank aan John De Schepper)

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