Tour de France riders’ tribute to Washington cyclist

Jason McRoy
Jason McRoy
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RIDERS taking on a route through Yorkshire on the Tour de France’s visit are expected to pay their respects to a Wearside sportsman whose life was tragically cut short.

Jason McRoy, 23, from Lambton, Washington, died in 1995 when he was hit by a lorry while riding his Harley Davidson on the A628 in Derbyshire.

Despite being born with a heart defect, Jason went on to become the first British mountain biker to make an impact in the early ‘90s and was posthumously inducted to the British Cycling Hall of Fame in February 2010.

In the 19 years since his death, parents James and Rose have visited the crash site at least six times a year where they have created a memorial garden for him.

The garden is on Woodhead Pass and has become a cyclists’ pilgrimage destination in the years since Jason’s death. His parents – who also created a garden at Sunderland Crematorium – say he is now set to receive a salute from some of the world’s leading cyclists when they pass the site on the stage two of Le Grand Depart.

James said: “We have kept Jason’s ‘garden’ maintained since his death and we do get a lot of acknowledgement and encouragement from passing traffic.

“When the Tour de France passes on Sunday we have heard that some of the riders may pay some form of tribute. It will be wonderful if they do and it is amazing to think Jason is still being recognised for his achievements.”

Jason has been honoured many times after his death.

His parents said the highlight was his induction into the British Cycling Hall of Fame in – when the most significant cyclists over the past 50 years as defined by an expert panel – were honoured at ceremony in Manchester. Jason’s father accepted the award from Olympic cycling star Victoria Pendleton on Jason’s behalf. Jason started out on BMXs before moving on to mountain bikes and became an acclaimed international downhill star. He has also been honoured with a place in the halls of fame of Mountain Biking UK.