‘I tried and tried’: Cylist Katie Archibald attempted to save partner Rab Wardell who died in his sleep

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Katie Archibald (right) attempted to save Rab Wardell, who suffered a cardiac arrest in his sleep

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Olympic cyclist Katie Archibald has said that she “tried and tried” to save her partner Rab Wardell after the mountain biker passed away at the age of 37.

Wardell suffered a cardiac arrest in his sleep just two days after taking victory at the Scottish MTB XC Championships.

Archibald has now described her “pain” at his passing, revealing that parademics could not “bring him back” after Wardell’s heart stopped.

“I think you’ve heard that Rab died yesterday morning,” two-time Olympic gold medal-winning track cyclist Archibald tweeted. “I still don’t understand what’s happened; if this is real; why he’d be taken now – so healthy and happy.

“He went into cardiac arrest while we were lying in bed. I tried and tried, and the paramedics arrived within minutes but his heart stopped and they couldn’t bring him back.

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“Mine stopped with it. I love him so much and need him here with me. I need him here so badly, but he’s gone. I can’t describe this pain.”

Wardell competed for Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games as part of a long and distinguished amateur mountain bike career before turning professional earlier this year.

He overcame a series of punctures to win the elite men’s national title for the first time in Kirroughtree Forest in Dumfries & Galloway on Sunday.

“Thank you to those making tributes,” Archibald continued. “I can’t bear to talk about him in the past tense to say anything myself. You mean everything to me, Rab. I love you.”

The two cyclists lived together in Glasgow.

Chris Hoy, six-time Olympic champion on the track, paid tribute to his fellow Scot, tweeting: “Can’t believe this. Utterly heartbreaking. Rest in peace Rab.”

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