South Africa's cycling fraternity is mourning the death of track ace Jeanne Nell after he crashed on Tuesday night in the keirin event at the Bellville Velodrome.

Cape Town – South African track cyclist Jeanne Nell died in Cape Town on Tuesday night after crashing in the keirin event at the Bellville Velodrome.

Originally from Port Elizabeth but later based in Cape Town, Nell was one of the country's top track cyclists and was part of the men’s sprint team attempting to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, later this year.

He was also a former national sprint, time trial and keirin champion and, in the words of cycling coach Ricky Kulsen, “one of the best sprinters South Africa has ever had – a true champion lost to South African cycling”.

SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon expressed his condolences.

“This time last year we were still reeling with shock at the loss of Olympic cyclist Burry Stander.

“A year later and we are again in mourning for one of our sporting fraternity. Our hearts go out to Jeanne's family, friends and love ones at this extremely sad time.”

Keirin is a form of motor-paced cycle racing in which track cyclists sprint for victory following a speed-controlled start behind a motorised or non-motorised pacer. – Sapa