Update 02:00 BST March 31: While the identity of the dead rider has still not been confirmed, the event's live tracking system has shown Mike Hall's tracker travelling at around 100km/h toward Canberra, leading to calls on Twitter for it to be turned off.
Reports are coming in that a competitor in the trans-Australia Indian Pacific Wheel Race has died after being hit by a car on the Monaro Highway south of Australian capital Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Very few details are available, but the location of the incident in which a male cyclist was killed corresponds to the last known position of second-placed rider Mike Hall.
It has not been officially confirmed that the rider was a participant in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, but ABC News has identified him as such.
Finbar O’Mallon of the Canberra Times reports that ACT Policing Station Sergeant Chris Meagher said at 9.30am that police had been unable to contact the next-of-kin.
Sergeant Meagher ruled out alcohol or speeding and said the driver was in shock and being treated at hospital.
ACT police said in a statement: “About 6.25am, police responded to a report of a collision on the Monaro Highway towards Williamsdale between a car and a cyclist.
“ACT Ambulance Service attended and the male cyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene.
“ACT Policing's Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team (CIRT) are examining the circumstances surrounding the collision.”
Indian Pacific Wheel Race organisers said in a statement:
"A collision between a motor vehicle and a cyclist occurred on the Monaro Highway at Royalla in New South Wales at approx. 6.20am on Friday morning.
"Race organisers are working with local authorities.
"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."
More details to follow.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.