A Lone Tree man killed Tuesday night in a cycling-race accident at the Colorado Springs Velodrome was an esteemed bicyclist recognized nationally for his ability and commitment to the sport.
Victor Williams, 51, was critically injured after falling from his bicycle at the track in Memorial Park around 9 p.m., according to Colorado Springs police and USA Cycling. Police said velodrome staff began CPR on Williams, who had stopped breathing.
Emergency responders were unable to revive Williams, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. The exact cause of death is under investigation.
USA Cycling released a statement announcing Williams' death, saying he was "involved in nearly every aspect of cycling for the past 30 years, including running teams, promoting race series and coaching junior cyclists." Williams also raced nationally and internationally in road, track and cyclo-cross events, the release said.
Williams was racing with about 22 other cyclists — including his teenage daughter, Kirsten — at the time of the crash, according to Mark Tyson, a longtime coach at the velodrome. Tyson said the event was a "typical Tuesday night race," which occurs weekly throughout the summer. The race included an international field, including Olympians.
"It was essentially a bike-racing crash, not unlike dozens of other crashes I've seen over the years," said Tyson, who witnessed the crash. "There was just an overlap in wheels."
Riders were roughly 10 laps into a 50-lap race spanning 16-17 kilometers when the crash occurred, Tyson told The Denver Post.
"I never met anyone who did not like Vic," Tyson said, adding that Williams was a Colorado Springs native who married his high school sweetheart, Karen. "He was just a delightful, delightful man. It's a hideous loss."
Aaron Bouplon, executive director of the association, said Williams recently founded a junior track camp at the velodrome.
Williams was serving on the board of directors for the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado and the Colorado Velodrome Association at the time of his death.
"We were shocked and saddened to learn of Vic's tragic accident and passing," Steve Johnson, USA Cycling president and CEO, said in a statement. "Vic was an incredible individual and a true champion for track cycling in Colorado."
A memorial service for Williams will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Village Seven Presbyterian Church, 4055 Nonchalant Circle, in Colorado Springs.
Jesse Paul: 303-954-1733, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/jesseapaul