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Cyclist mum killed when she plunged 100ft off cliff

Jennifer Hill was cycling through thick cloud. Credit: Wales News Service

A mother was killed when she plunged 100ft off a cliff while cycling through thick cloud on holiday in France, an inquest has heard.

Keen cyclist Jennifer Hill, 57, missed a hairpin turn on the steep mountainside road on the first day of the holiday.

Mrs Hill, who was director of education for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, was following behind her husband down when she suddenly vanished through cloud into the ravine in the Pyrenees.

An inquest today heard she was killed instantly - but her husband Christopher Spector was unaware of her tragic death because he was four miles ahead.

It was only later when he stopped at a roadside cafe that fellow cyclists told him about the tragedy.

Jennifer Hill was an experienced cyclist. Credit: Wales News Service

The couple, from Monmouth, were riding hired bikes on the first day of their French holiday in August.

Father-of-two Christopher said: "It was cloudy. We went through cloud on the way up and she was just behind me.

"We rode back down through the clouds and I took it slowly and carefully. I didn't look behind me.

"When I stopped at the cafe I was waiting for her. But I was told what had happened by other cyclists."

Mrs Hill was a "very experienced" cyclist who rode 80 to 100 miles a week.

The inquest in Newport heard Mrs Hill and her husband had spent cycling holidays in the Alps and other parts of Europe but it was first time they had been in the Gavarnie region of the Pyrenees.

Gwent coroner David Bowen said: "She was cycling in poor visibly and failed to negotiate a hairpin bend.

"There were no eye-witnesses but there was a loss of control. She died doing a passtime she enjoyed."

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

After hearing, her husband said they had first met 40 years ago because of their shared love of cycling - and were keen fans of the Tour de France.