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British competitor Mike Hall has died tragically during the first edition of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race.
Hall was struck by a car on the Monaro Highway south of Canberra at approximately 6:20am on Friday morning.
“I can suggest, given the nature of the collision, an investigation into the circumstances would suggest the rider of the push bike died at the scene,” said ACT Policing Sergeant Chris Meagher.
Race organisers released a statement late on Friday morning confirming that an incident had occurred in the race, but did not reveal the cyclist’s identity.
“Race organisers are working with local authorities,” the statement said at the time. “We will cooperate fully with official investigations and we intend to undertake a detailed investigation of our own. Race organisers will provide more information when it becomes available.”
An update came just after 1pm with organisers announcing that the Indian Pacific Wheel Race had been cancelled with immediate effect.
“Every effort is being made to personally get in touch with riders that remain on the road to inform them of the situation,” a statement read. “The tracking devices will remain open in the interests of safety and the event is continuing to work with the relevant authorities.”
Just after 5pm the organisers confirmed that the cyclist involved in the incident was indeed Hall.
“The Indian Pacific Wheel Race joins the family, loved ones and friends of Mike Hall in mourning his death,” a media release read. “Our deepest sympathies go to Mike’s family and to all those who knew him. Mike will be sorely missed.”
Hall was regarded as one of the world’s best ultra-endurance racers and holds the record for the fastest completion of the Trans Am and Tour Divide bikepacking races in the U.S. He is also the founder of the Transcontinental race in Europe.
A tribute ride is being organised in Mike’s honour and will be held in Sydney on Sunday.