British ultra-endurance cyclist Mike Hall “died almost instantly” when a car crashed into him during a race, an inquest has heard.
The 35-year-old was taking part in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in March last year, when a vehicle struck him on a highway near Canberra, Australia.
Hall was in second place in the 3,400 mile race when he was hit and the inquest heard the car was travelling at 62mph, the BBC reports. His death has been attributed to major head, spinal and abdominal injuries.
Speaking at the hearing, which is being held at the Coroner’s Court in the Australian Capital Territory, driver Shegu Bobb explained that he initially thought he had hit a kangaroo.
Ken Archer, a lawyer assisting the inquest, said Hall was cycling while wearing dark clothing which made him hard to see. However, documentary footage of him racing at night while being visible was played.
The Indian Pacific Wheel Race goes from coast-to-coast with riders starting in Fremantle, near Perth, and finishing at the Sydney Opera House.
The clock runs continuously throughout the race so riders have to decide when to stop and camp themselves, with some covering up to 400km a day.
Hall was on his 14th day of cycling when the crash took place and when news of his death broke, Kristof Allegaert – who had been in first place ahead of him – honoured his memory by almost completing the race, continuing to the Sydney Opera House but stopping before crossing the finish line.
Hall was a highly-accomplished endurance cyclist, winner of the 2012 World Cycle Race, two-time winner of the Tour Divide and 2014 winner of the TransAm Bicycle Race.