Friends and fellow cyclists pay tribute

‘The place was brighter when Clauds was here’

Friends have paid tribute to the ‘much-loved’ and ‘genuine’ woman killed as she was cycling in Oxford.

Claudia Comberti, 31, who was studying at Oxford University, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Botley Road on Tuesday afternoon after a collision with a bus.

Tributes have been flooding in online since the incident.

Abi Stone tweeted: “Such sadness for loss of Claudia, who lived with integrity, passion, energy, conviction & calm kindness. My heart goes out to family & friends.”

Emilie Parry tweeted: “The world has been kinder, more genuine, gracious, inclusive and patient in your steady presence.”

The day after, around 100 cyclists took part in a ride in her memory – one holding a symbolic empty white ‘ghost’ bike.

Oxford cycling shop Broken Spoke organised the event.

A representative said: “Her and her bike were regular faces in our workshop. You’d know when Clauds had arrived. The place was reliably brightened every time with her smile and exuberance.

“We decided to create a ghost bike — a bike that is painted white to mark the place where someone lost their life whilst cycling. To act as a memorial, a symbol of their absence, and to make visible the dangers that we face.

“We came to express our love, our desperation and our sorrow, to support each other – and to create a safe space that wasn’t available for her.

“Claudia was writing up her PhD, she was organising a community festival, she had started swimming in the river already.

“Her loss is a great one, a deep one and one to which we want to respond with action and love.”

The group held another bike ride on Broad Street on Friday evening to show the “solidarity and strength of our community” and “to celebrate a life”.

After the incident on Tuesday last week, Phil Southall, managing director of Oxford Bus Company, said the bus was operating the 4B service towards the city and Wood Farm when the incident took place in the vicinity of McDonald’s on Botley Road.

He added: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the cyclist and our driver who is currently receiving treatment for shock.”

Contact police on 101 if you have any information.

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