Just weeks before her birthday and sixth wedding anniversary, Olympian and world champion cyclist Melissa (Hoskins) Dennis, 32, was hit by a car Saturday night around 8 pm near her home in Adelaide. The Olympic silver medalist and mother of two sustained severe injuries and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, but she died in the hospital this morning.
Her husband Rohan Dennis, 33, a fellow Australian Olympic cyclist, has been arrested and charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care, and endangering life, according to several media outlets, including Australia’s 10 News First. Rohan was released on bail and is due to appear in court in March.
Renowned professional cyclist Rohan Dennis has been arrested in Adelaide, accused of hitting his wife with his car. She sustained serious injuries before dying in hospital this morning. pic.twitter.com/O1VTKmboMS
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) December 31, 2023
Rohan, a former Jumbo-Visma rider, retired from the professional peloton at the end of this race.
Dennis, a former road and track cyclist, retired from the professional peloton in 2017. The couple married in 2018 and have two children.
While details surrounding the incident are still pending, cycling friends from across the world are paying tribute to Dennis.
“Melissa described her team pursuit gold medal at the 2015 world championships as the highlight of her career, but for the rest of us, the highlight was just having her around,” said AusCycling chief executive Marne Fechner, according to the Guardian. “Although she retired in 2017, her presence as an alumnus of the sport has been felt and appreciated by many in the cycling and riding community.”
Meanwhile, cycling legend Anna Meares said, “I have a very heavy heart. This is a very difficult and tragic time. RIP Mel.”
Dennis and Rohan were headliners for the upcoming Santos Tour Down Under “family ride.” Since news of Dennis’s tragic death, the blog post highlighting Rohan has been removed from the organizer’s website.
On the Tour’s Facebook page, organizers acknowledged Dennis’s passing.
“We are devastated by the news of Melissa Hoskins death. It’s an extremely tragic situation which has seen the loss of a young mum and champion cyclist. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to all those impacted including family, friends and the broader cycling community.”
“Given the circumstances, Rohan Dennis will no longer be participating in activities in the Santos Tour Down Under 2024,” shared Adelaide Now.
Share this content: