Tears flow as Amanda Spratt remembers Melissa Hoskins at Tour Down Under press conference

Amanda Spratt’s tears have laid bare the depth of grief in cycling as the sport mourns the death of Melissa Hoskins.

A minute’s silence will be observed on Friday morning before the women’s Tour Down Under starts at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Amanda Spratt mourns Melissa Hoskins at emotional Tour Down Under press conference.

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The same tribute was paid on Sunday before the women’s road race at the national championships.

Spratt was visibly distressed as she spoke about Hoskins, a former road teammate, on Thursday at the Tour Down Under pre-race media conference.

“I’m glad we get the minute to honour her before the race,” the Australian cycling star said.

Race director Annette Edmondson then stepped in to let Spratt compose herself.

“We just want to remember Mel for her amazing personality. She was a light and she shone it across so many people,” Edmondson said.

Melissa Hoskins will be remembered with a minute’s silence at the Tour Down Under. Credit: AAP

Hoskins died in hospital, hours after after a traffic incident on December 30 near her Adelaide home.

The mother-of-two was a two-time Olympian and world champion on the track.

Her husband Rohan Dennis, an Olympic medallist and former road champion, faces driving-related charges over her death.

Hoskins was a popular figure in the sport with a wide network — she and Edmondson rode together on the track throughout much of their careers.

“It’s extremely tragic … there are a lot of people here who knew her,” Edmondson said.

“She lived here, she trained here. It’s a really, really sad few weeks for us as a cycling community.

“We are going to spend that minute remembering her and we’re here for a race. We have a lot of professional women out here who are here to do a job.”

The death of Melissa Hoskins (c) has rocked the sport and the Australian cycling community. (Tracey Nearmy/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Jayco AlUla cyclist Alex Manly, another rider who raced with Hoskins on the track, spoke about striking the difficult balance between managing grief and continuing to race.

“She’s very empowering and hopefully we can all remember her and then give her respect, and her family the respect they want,” Manly said.

“Just honour her, but then move on to the racing — that’s what they would like.”

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