Nichols family by Kate?s side


FORMER Grafton man and Olympic gold medallist Kevin Nichols arrived in Germany yesterday to be with his injured daughter Kate Nichols.

Kate was in a stable condition in a German hospital following the accident on Tuesday in which a car slammed into her cycling team, killing one of her teammates and injuring four others.

Ms Nichols sustained soft tissue damage, cuts and tore the tendons in her hand, which required surgery.

Mr Nichols told a Sydney newspaper that his daughter told him of her terror as an out-of-control car swerved to- wards her training group.

"[The car] went to the wrong side of the road," he said.

"It was just spinning uncontrollably, sliding all over the place. You could not anticipate which way it was going."

Mr Nichols told another Sydney paper that his daughter had been 'extremely lucky'.

"The fact that it hit her right hand is very strange because she was on the right-hand side of the road, but obviously it was the rider at the front that copped it all," he said.

As Ms Nichols recovered in hospital, Australian cyclists paid tribute to dead cyclist Amy Gillett at a memorial service in Germany.

Dressed in their riding gear, top Australian cyclists spoke of their grief at Gillett's death in the training accident.

Mourners gathered in the town square of Zeulenroda, near Leipzig in eastern Germany, not far from where the car ploughed into the six Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) riders.

Australian head coach Shayne Bannan said Gillett was much-loved in the cycling community, and had been a unifying presence in the Australian women's team.

The crash forced the postponement of the Tour of Thuringen.

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