Ultracyclist Mike Hall was killed in a car-bike crash at 6:20a.m. March 31 while competing in Australia’s first Indian Pacific Wheel Race. The 35-year-old was riding on the Monaro Highway, 13 days into the coast-to-coast race that started March 18, putting him toward the end of the 3,300-mile ordeal.
An accomplished ultraendurance rider and race organizer, Hall won the inaugural World Cycle Race in 2012; and in 2013 and 2016, he won the Tour Divide ultra-endurance mountain bike race that takes riders across the Rocky Mountains.
Earlier in the week, Hall tweeted about the road conditions in the unsupported Australian race, warning other cyclists to be cautious in traffic.
"Riders will want to be alert when entering this area, don’t hug the shoulder, give yourself somewhere to bail to,” he wrote.
Hall also thanked spectators for coming out to support the riders, and joked about windy conditions and high-fives. He was in second place at the time of the crash.
At the time of publication, details surrounding the incident are scarce; Hall appears to have died at the scene, just outside of Canberra. Local authorities are currently investigating.
Immediately following his death, the organizers cancelled the race, though trackers were not disabled on riders for safety reasons.
“This is a difficult time for everyone involved, along with their families, and their well-being is our primary concern,” the organizers explained in a statement. Instead of finishing the race, a tribute ride in his honor is being planned for Sunday in Sydney.
A Just Giving page was also set up by Hall’s friends to help his family cover costs associated with his death. The page has already amassed more than £44,000 (more than $55,000).
"Mike will be remembered by us all for his kindness, good heart and bravery," explains James Hayden, a fellow endurance racer, in the page description. "Mike was a shining light in many of our lives, enabling us to find the best of ourselves."
Thousands of cyclists posted messages on social media mourning the cycling world’s loss, and shared stories of the inspiration and motivation that Hall provided throughout his short life.
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