Kostantin Deneka, a noted Ukraine cyclist, was recently killed during combat in the ongoing war against Russian forces, according to media reports. He was 40.
Deneka, who was a top national road racer in the elite and masters categories, was killed during combat on March 31 or April 1 in Bahmut, according to a message posted on Facebook. A funeral was held April 9.
A report, first cited by Bicycling, stated that Deneka was part of a special forces unit of the Ukraine defense intelligence.
“Terrible and painful loss for relatives and the whole cycling community of Ukraine,” read a note posted on the Ukraine cycling federation’s Facebook page. “Defending Bakhmut joined the heavenly protection cycling athlete Kostya Deneka. Eternal glory to the warrior!”
Several other messages on social media cited the combat death.
Deneka raced on an Ukraine national team called Citron, and competed in national races as well as online competitions.
It’s not known how many cyclists have been killed during the combat in the war against the Russian invasion of the Ukraine that started in February 2022.
In March last year, Oleksandr Kulyk, a longtime Ukraine cycling coach and father of 2019 national champion Andriy Kulyk, was killed during a battle near Nyzy in Sumy Oblast in a death noted by UCI president David Lappartient.
Several former and active Ukraine pros have stepped up to help their nation since the invasion of Russian forces.
Trek-Segafredo sport director Yaroslav Popovych has organized several trucks of food, clothes, medicine, and other materials to be transported to the Ukraine border from across Europe.
Ex-pro Andriy Grivko, president of the Ukraine cycling federation, has also been working to help people evacuate dangerous areas as well as putting pressure on the UCI and other international governing bodies to sanction Russia.
Another Ukrainian sportsman killed near Bakhmut. Cyclist Kostyantyn Deneka, champion of numerous national cycling competitions, was 40. He was serving in a special unit of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.
Source: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
📷: Leader Citron Team pic.twitter.com/nqJ0lAK4qT
— UkraineWorld (@ukraine_world) April 11, 2023
🕯 Під Бахмутом загинув відомий український велогонник Костянтин Денека
Він був фанатом спортивного руху та активного способу життя, був членом команди “Leader Citron Team”. Багаторазовий переможець багатьох змагань різного рівня в категорії Masters
Вічна пам’ять Герою! pic.twitter.com/CT2FRokQGU
— Східний Варіант / Восточный Вариант (@EasternVariant) April 8, 2023