On Sunday 3rd May 2009 Gareth Rhys-Evans, 37, was taking part in the Icknield Road Club 25-mile cycling “Time Trial” when at 8.30am he was hit from behind by a car on the A1 at St Neot’s Cambridgeshire. Tragically he died from his injuries at the scene.
Gareth Rhys-Evans was a Major serving with the Intelligence Corps. He commanded 12 Military Intelligence Company, part of 1 Military Intelligence Battalion based in Germany.
Major Rhys-Evans came from Llandovery, Dyfed. He joined the Army in 1996 at the age of 25 and served first with the Royal Artillery before transferring to the Intelligence Corps.
Fellow soldiers from the Battalion paid tribute to Major “Griff” Rhys-Evans, who leaves parents Glyn and Glenys, sister Sara, wife Emma and children Tomas and Bethan.
A spokesman for the unit said:
“In the nine short months he had spent in the Battalion he touched the lives of everyone, both military and civilian.
“A natural leader, he very quickly imposed his personal style on his company.
“His enthusiasm, energy and exuberance were infectious, and he was hugely well respected by everyone with whom he came into contact.
“The Battalion mourns a comrade and friend, and our thoughts and prayers are with Emma, Tom and Bethan. He was one of a kind.”
Major Rhys-Evans died at the scene despite fellow cyclists and paramedics administering first aid. He was wearing a helmet but is thought to have died from head injuries.
The crash happened midway through the cycle race, which was immediately abandoned by its 120 competitors.
Race secretary Martin Brooks said marshals stationed along the route had monitored traffic levels in an attempt to ensure safety. He added:
“Gareth was a passionate rider and he was a really affable guy.
“It’s really unfortunate something like this has happened to such a nice man. The riders were left very subdued.”
Dozens of tributes have been posted on cycling forums. Among them was a message from RAF Cricket Association rider Jon Surtees, who wrote: “I am devastated and struggling. My sincere condolences to the rider’s family at this tragic time.”