Scottish mountain biker Rab Wardell died in his sleep just two days after winning the Scottish MTB XC Championships in Dumfries and Galloway over the weekend. He was only 37 years old. Read on to know how did Rab Wardell die and what was the cause of his untimely death.
Wardell appeared on BBC Scotland’s “The Nine” on Monday night to discuss his championship victory. “Unfortunately I think I’m a little too well practiced in managing punctures!” he joked.
The ex-Commonwealth Games biker won the elite championship after overcoming three punctures on his way to victory.
“To be honest, it was a bit of a disaster, but I just had to keep on trucking and keep racing. I guess I still felt confident that I’d be able to catch the leaders and win so I just gave it my best shot – what more can you do?” he said on The Nine.
How did Rab Wardell die?
Rab Wardell died in his sleep on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, just 48 hours after winning men’s gold in the Scottish Championship. He was just 37 years old. He reportedly suffered a heart attack while sleeping.
The famed Scottish cross county racer had represented Scotland in Commonwealth Games and was the partner of Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Katie Archibald.
Scottish Cross Country Association confirmed the news of Wardell’s death in an emotional statement that reads:
“Our deepest sympathy to his friends, family, and loved ones.
“He will be truly missed by our community and his determination, talent and friendship will live on in all our hearts and memories.
“I’m sure more eloquent words will be written by many but RIP Rab. Our Champion, Our Inspiration, Our Friend.”
Scottish Cycling also said on social media it was ‘devastated’ to confirm the death of its former employee and international mountain biker Wardell.
“We have very little information at this stage, but we send our love and support to his family, friends, and all those in our community who knew him,” their statement said.
What was the cause of Rab Wardell’s death?
Rab Wardell passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack in his sleep according to Pinkbike.com. The much-accomplished biker didn’t have any past illness and was an absolutely fit man. He wasn’t suffering from any lifestyle disorders either.
Unfortunately, his life in this world was only written to this point. Thus, he passed away into a better world peacefully while sleeping.
Rab Wardell Early Life and Cycling Career
Rab Wardell was born in 1985 in Dunfermline, Scotland. He started to chase mountain biking and other forms of cycling when he was 15. He had been riding bikes from a young age but only considered it as a sport later.
Wardless loved all forms of riding, from road to BMX. He also has a Scottish Cyclocross Championship title to his name. He has traveled to race on every continent, including Antarctica. In 2020, he set the record for the Fastest Known Time on Scotland’s West Highland Way.
The cheerful and humble rider had a career full of ups and downs. This season was a breakout year of sorts for Wardell even after being at an age where most bikers consider stepping away from the track.
Wardell had been focusing on growing his Cycle Coaching Academy before making his full-time return to pro racing. He also represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Games 2020. He was also a British Championships Medalist, Multiple Scottish Champion, Race The World USA Winner, Team Scotland, and British Cycling Team representative.
Wardell documented his remarkable comeback journey in the new video series titled “Old Enough to Know Better.” A film was also made on Wardell’s West Highland Way chronicle by Cut Media in collaboration with Wahoo and Santa Cruz.
Tributes coming in for Rab Wardell
Ever since the unfortunate news of Wardell’s sudden death emerged, fans have been paying tribute to the biker on social media platforms.
Mountain biking journalist Chipps Chippendale stated: “So sorry to have just heard the news about Rab Wardell’s death.
“He’d just won the Scottish Cross Country Championships on the back of an impressive comeback to racing and apparently passed away in his sleep.
“Rab was a true all-rounder, racing XC, cross and Enduro with equal flair, all while being humble and cheerful – and very, very fast.
“Just as he had it all to look forward to, with us along for the ride, he was taken away. A true champ has left us.”
British Cycling has also paid respect to the deceased, “Rab was a brilliant rider, friend and ambassador for our sport. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”
Thousands of fans have also shared grief-filled emotions for the biker who has gone too soon. Our deepest condolences go out to this family and friends. May God let the departed soul rest easy.