FORMER Olympic cyclist Bob Maitland has died in France at the age of 86.
He suffered a heart attack in early August while in France attending a cycling event .
From that point Maitland remained in a critical condition before passing away last week having been in intensive care at Metz hospital.
Fellow cycling star Harry Reynolds paid tribute to him this week and claimed: “He was my hero! He helped me enormously when I first started out in cycling.”
A vice president of Solihull Cycling Club, Maitland competed as a professional for the BSA team and rode for Great Britain in the 1955 Tour de France.
Recognised as one of the shrewdest riders of his generation, Maitland was a quality cyclist in all forms of the sport that included road races, time trials and even hill climbs. He even excelled on a tandem and held a variety of national records, some of which stood for years.
Maitland’s major success came at the 1948 Olympics when he won a silver medal representing Britain in the road race, where he was the first English rider home.
He later went onto become a world veteran champion as well.
Harry Reynolds added: “He was someone that I always looked up to. Bob was a very good coach, a clever rider and a great all-rounder.
“I once went over to his house in Sutton Coldfield and the place was like a treasure trove - there were trophies everywhere.”