Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton’s twin brother Alex has died at the age of 42 after being diagnosed with an ‘aggressive’ brain tumour.
Posting a picture of the pair of them, she wrote: “Alex Pendleton 24.09.80 - 22.06.23.
“If you know me then you likely know my twin brother Alex, I just wanted to let you know that this morning Alex sadly passed away after an epic battle against an aggressive brain tumour.
“He will be painfully missed by many.
“Rest in peace my kind, brave twinnie, you will forever be in our hearts.”
Pendleton, who won the British, world, and Olympic titles as a track cyclist, was offered sympathy online by friends, including TV presenter Ben Fogle, who said: “I am so so so sorry Vic.
“Sending you all my love.”
The 42-year-old - who was also a professional jockey after her cycling career - previously spoke about how her brother was completely different to her.
In an interview with the Daily Mail that touched on her mental health, as well as her struggles with depression, Pendleton said: “I live with the knowledge depression may happen at any time, but I'm more prepared to deal with it now.
“I've always had low spells.
“A lot of people in my family have experienced anxiety and depression.
“My older sister Nicola, my dad - both of them suffer at times from extreme stress.”
On her brother Alex, she said: “No, we're yin and yang.
“He doesn't take life too seriously.”
Pendleton is one of the most successful Olympians in British history, having won the gold medal twice, as well as a silver medal.
However, her mental health has been a big challenge, and when she had to abandon a charity attempt to climb Everest last May on medical grounds after a year-and-a-half of training, it led her to a period of deep depression.
Speaking to The Sun, she explained: “It was an accumulation of so many factors that had got on top of me.
“Everything in my personal life was out of control - there was this huge sense of loss from losing my sporting career, my marriage had broken down, the hypoxia…
"Each of those things individually might have been manageable, but together, I didn’t have enough to give. I wasn’t coping and I spiralled down and down and down into a place I didn’t think I could get out of, for about five months.
"I felt very frustrated because I was like: ‘I’m an Olympic champion - I should be able to get out of this myself.’”