'A freewheeling spirit, a giver with a big heart' – Melissa Hoskins' family release statement

Former cyclist's parents and sister pay tribute and ask for privacy following her tragic death on Sunday

Clock10:30, Tuesday 2nd January 2024
Melissa Hoskins had a successful career on both the road and the track

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Melissa Hoskins had a successful career on both the road and the track

Melissa Hoskins’ parents and family have paid tribute and asked for privacy in a statement released via AusCycling following her death on Sunday.

Hoskins, a 32-year-old former world champion cyclist, died following an incident with a vehicle outside her home on Saturday evening. Her husband, the cyclist Rohan Dennis, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and endangering life, and is currently released on bail.

Read more: Rohan Dennis charged in relation to the death of his wife Melissa Hoskins

After the news became public in the Australian media over the weekend, Hoskins’ parents and sister, Peter, Amanda and Jess, released a statement on Tuesday.

“Words cannot convey our grief, sadness and the tragic circumstances of Melissa’s passing,” the statement read. “Myself, Amanda, Jess and families, are utterly devastated and still struggling to process what has happened.”

After retiring from her own decorated cycling career in 2017, Hoskins married Dennis in 2018, and the couple had two children together, aged five and two.

“Not only have we lost a daughter and sister, her children have lost their mum, a freewheeling spirit, a giver with a big heart, patience and zest for life,” her family wrote.

“She was the rock of their life and ours and we need to honour her memory so they can grow up knowing who she was, what she stood for and what she gave to everyone whose life she touched.

“The outpouring of sadness and support has overwhelmed us. In her short life Melissa has had so many positive touch points in and around the world.”

Read more: AusCycling pays tribute to Melissa Hoskins

Whilst the legal case is ongoing, with Dennis set to appear in court on March 13, the Hoskins family also confirmed details of the memorial plans.

“The funeral will be held in Perth, her hometown, with a memorial service in Adelaide after the Tour Down Under.

“We now need to deal with our grief privately and will be making no further comments. We ask that media please respect our privacy and that of Melissa’s children,” the statement concluded.

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