One of New Zealand's greatest cyclists is fighting for his life, in an induced coma in Christchurch Hospital, after suffering a series of heart attacks late last week.
News of Brian Fowler’s sudden deterioration in health left many in the cycling world shocked; none more than his former New Zealand teammates Graeme Miller and Craig Adair.
Miller, who won gold with Fowler in the 1990 team time trial at the Auckland Commonwealth Games, told 1 NEWS he and others have rallied around Fowler’s family in recent days.
“As soon as I got the official news I had to sit down and take a moment,” Miller told 1 NEWS.
Fowler is a multiple Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and eight-time winner of the Tour of Southland but many believe the 58-year-old would've blitzed pro cycling in Europe if he'd decided to head there fulltime.
Miller is one of them.
“If you got Brian in an environment where he felt comfortable with mates around him — and that didn't matter here or in Europe or wherever — if he felt comfortable, he could destroy the world in a race.”
Adair added his abilities were well documented anywhere he went.
“He was incredible, his recovery was so good,” he said.
“Ron Cheatley, the Olympic cycling coach for many years, said, 'To me he's got the heart and lungs of Phar Lap' — that says a lot.”
That reputation is why Miller is backing his old teammate to come out of this health scare OK.
“He'll get through this.
“If anyone can get through this, he can.”