You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mike Hall: British cyclist killed in crash during Australian endurance race

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 31/03/2017 BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER
mikehall3103a.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited mikehall3103a.jpg

Veteran British endurance cyclist Mike Hall was killed after being hit by a car during a race in Australia today.

Hall, 35, was struck in the south of the capital Canberra during the Indian Pacific Wheel race from Perth to Sydney.

Organisers called off the remainder of the race following the collision at around 6.20am, calling his death “a great loss to the global cycling community”.

They said: “The Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been cancelled with immediate effect in light of this morning’s tragic incident.

“This is a difficult time for everyone involved, along with their families, and their well-being is our primary concern.”

The organisers said they would cooperate fully with official investigations and “intend to undertake a detailed investigation of our own”.

Hall was in second place in the race when his GPS tracker stopped moving on Friday morning near the scene of where the collision was reported.

Police from the Australian Capital Territory said a male cyclist died at the scene on the Monaro Highway near Williamsdale.

Crash investigators are piecing together the circumstances surrounding the collision and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The driver of the car involved is assisting police with their inquiries, police said.

mikehall3103b.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited mikehall3103b.jpg About 70 riders from around the world started the race 3,500-mile race on March 18, with Hall one of the favourites to win along with Belgium’s Kristof Allegaert.

The pair had been racing with very little sleep, with Hall revealing he was having problems with his vision in a recent video posted from the race route.

“It gets dark and all the glare of the light hitting the signage and road furniture just swirls around and blurs,” he said.

“I’ve been thinking that I can’t stay awake because I’m just really tired. But it’s just the fact I can’t see in the dark properly - my eyes are nailed.”

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Hall had previously won the Trans Am Bike Race across the US and the Tour Divide traversing the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico.

The British rider, from Harrogate, also organised the Transcontinental Race across Europe which Allegaert has won three times.

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race was the first time Hall and Allegaert had gone head-to-head.

According to his official race tracker, Hall had averaged nearly 250 miles a day for the past 12 days.

Four days ago Hall expressed concern about the speed of cars passing cyclists and their proximity, while in 2013 he said of conditions in Australia: “Cars will go past you at 110, 120 kilometres an hour, leaving you about a foot gap, and there’s a whole other lane free. It’s crazy ... It’s been some of the worst driving with regards to safety that I’ve seen.”

Supporters today posted tributes on social media and cycling websites.

One friend, called Nitro, wrote: “For someone to lose their life while undertaking what must be one of the greatest adventure challenges possible on a bike - tragic beyond words.”

Another said: “RIP Mike. You are an inspiration,” while Kaity Bradey wrote: “Devastating, absolutely devastating ... It just makes me feel ill.”

More from Evening Standard

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon