Former Team GB cyclist Sharon Laws dies of cancer at 43

Sharon Laws celebrates her victory at the Women's Road Race National Championships in 2012. John Giles/PA Images via Getty Images

Former Great Britain cyclist Sharon Laws has died aged 43 following a battle with cancer.

Laws, the British road race champion in 2012, was a professional racer for almost a decade, helping Nicole Cooke to Olympic gold in 2008.

She announced she had cervical cancer in October 2016.

Born in Kenya, Laws was based in Girona, Spain -- a favoured location for professional cyclists -- until last October, when she returned to live with her mother in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds.

A statement issued by Voxwomen on behalf of Laws' family read: "This morning the cycling world lost a champion, a friend, a rider with a huge smile and a fantastic laugh.

"Sharon Laws passed away early this morning after her fight with cancer. Her mum Joy and her family have asked for privacy at this time. RIP Sharon Laws 1974 - 2017."

A British Cycling spokesperson added: "Everyone who loves cycling will be affected by Sharon's passing. She was as big-hearted and determined in life as she was on a bike, and represented her country and her sport with distinction.

"The thoughts of everyone at British Cycling are with her friends and family."