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Rohan Dennis is on bail at home in Adelaide, with journalists camped outside and shouting questions at him when he left the property

Rohan Dennis has been seen in public for the first time since being charged with a number of offences after the death of his wife, Melissa Hoskins, following a vehicle incident on the evening of December 30th.

However, while TV crews and other journalists were waiting outside the house in Adelaide, and shouted questions at him as he made his way to a nearby car, he did not respond. Some of the media have also published photographs of Mr Dennis as he was on the phone in the back garden of the house.

The death of Ms Hoskins, and the fact Mr Dennis now faces criminal charges relating to it, has been a significant news story in Australia in recent days and sent shock through the sport of cycling.

The dead woman’s family has issued a statement, through AusCycling, paying tribute to her and the joy she brought their lives. In the statement her parents, Peter and Amanda, and sister, Jess, make no mention of Mr Dennis.

Melissa Hoskins was an Australian road and track international, winning a world title on the track and three medals at the road Worlds (Photo: Davy Rietbergen-Cor Vos)

“Myself, Amanda, Jess and families, are utterly devastated and still struggling to process what has happened,” they said.

“Not only have we lost a daughter and sister, her children have lost their mum, a freewheeling spirit, a giver with a big heart, patience and zest for life.

“She was the rock of their life and ours and we need to honour her memory so they can grow up knowing who she was, what she stood for and what she gave to everyone whose life she touched.

“The outpouring of sadness and support has overwhelmed us. In her short life Melissa has had so many positive touch points in and around the world.”

Dennis (33) was arrested and questioned but was released on bail after being charged. He was due to appear before a court on March 13th following the death of Ms Hoskins, who was struck by a car her husband was allegedly driving outside their family home in Adelaide on the night of December 30th.

He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving as well as driving without due care and endangering a life.

The couple, both champion cyclists during their successful careers, have two children and married in 2018. Ms Hoskins had represented Australia at the Olympics in London and Rio, in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

She was world champion in the team pursuit in 2015 and also won two silvers and a bronze riding the same event for Australia in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She also secured a silver medal in the scratch race at the Worlds in Melbourne in 2012.

The 32-year-old was also a very accomplished road rider, winning two silvers and a bronze in the TTT at the World Road Championships between 2012 and 2014. On the road she also won two stages and the overall at Tour of Chongming Island (2.1) in 2012.

Ms Hoskins competed for Oirca-AIS for four years up to her retirement in 2015. The team was a UCI Continental squad that was part of the team now known as Team Jayco AlUla.

The team issued a statement, one of many from within cycling, paying tribute to her after news of her death emerged.

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of former GreenEDGE Cycling rider Melissa Dennis nee Hoskins,” it said. “Our thoughts are with her family and friends and the whole cycling community at this deeply saddening time. She will never be forgotten.”

AusCycling said it had learned of the death of Ms Hoskins “with shock and sorrow”, also paying tribute to the impact she had made in her short life.

“Melissa, a mother, daughter, and wife, was also a champion cyclist who thrilled and inspired us with her exquisite skills on the track and road,” it said in a statement.

“Melissa began her competitive cycling career at just 16, and by the time she retired at the age of 25 she had shown the world that she was an athlete of rare prowess.

“As a member of the Australian Cycling Team she demonstrated elite endurance on the track and earned podium finishes in both team and individual events nationally and internationally.

“Melissa described her team pursuit gold medal at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships as the highlight of her career, but for the rest of us, the highlight was just having her around.

“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.

“AusCycling extends its deepest sympathies to Melissa’s family, friends, and former teammates and will determine an appropriate way to memorialise her and her contribution to our sport in coming days.”

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