Organisers of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, a 5,500km race across Australia, have announced that the 2018 race has been cancelled after the death of rider Mike Hall in the 2017 edition.
Hall, who founded the Transcontinental Race, an annual race across Europe, in 2013 and broke the round-the-world record with a time of 91 days and 18 hours in 2012, was killed in a collision with a vehicle while competing in the 2017 Indian Pacific Wheel Race.
An inquest into Hall’s death met today (February 6), setting a timetable for the full inquiry, with event organisers Dragon Face Pty Ltd later issuing a statement saying that the race would not return in 2018.
“As you’re probably aware, the matter of Mike Hall’s death is before the A.C.T. [Australian Capital Territory] Coroner’s Court with an inquest likely to be held later in the year,” read the statement from Jesse Carlsson, director of Dragon Face Pty Ltd.
“Given this situation, and as more information about the potential outcomes of this process have become clear only very recently, it is with an extremely heavy heart that we cancel the 2018 Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR) with immediate effect. That is, Dragon Face Pty Ltd will not be facilitating the riding of the IPWR in any way.
“The fact that this race has taken on a life of its own, strengthened the ultra-endurance cycling community and created an unparalleled interest in what is largely a very solitary pursuit is something of great pride. It’s for this same reason that this decision is not taken lightly, knowing how many people this will upset and even anger.”
Entrants to the 2018 race will receive a refund of the entry fee, with organisers also saying that riders are still free to take on the route at their own accord.
In October organisers said that they would be bringing in a range of safety measures for the 2018 race, including making riders have two front and two rear lights, wear a reflective vest, and have reflective strips on their bike’s seatstays and crank arms.