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A heart defect caused former World Solo 24hr Champion James Williamson’s death during the Cape Epic in South Africa last week.
An autopsy performed after the 26-year-old Australian’s death on March 23 revealed a ventricle problem, according to a family member who spoke to the Canberra Times newspaper. The defect was likely genetic.
Williamson was racing in the Cape Epic with his teammate Shaun Lewis. By all accounts, Williamson was feeling fine after the first two stages of the race. But Lewis was unable to wake his partner before the start of stage three.
Williamson was the 2006 Australian Solo 24hr Champion and the 2008 World Solo 24hr Champion. He was also editor of the Australian Enduro mountain bike magazine. Williamson’s aunt told the newspaper that the ventricle problem was not caused or made worse by cycling and that his fitness level may have masked the issue.