Tributes made to 'endurance legend' Mike Hall after tragic cycling incident

Mike Hall has been hailed a legend and inspiration by all those across the cycling community.
Mike Hall has been hailed a legend and inspiration by all those across the cycling community.

Friends of an endurance cycling 'legend' from Harrogate said they went to bed following his progress, to wake up and find he had died during a competitive race in Australia.

Mike Hall, 35, had been in second place leading the Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR) when he was struck by a car yesterday morning (Friday).

Cycling groups all over the world have taken to social media to express their sadness for the Mr Hall, who became a world record holder in 2012 when he cycled the world in 91 days.

David Burns, Owner of I want to Ride My Bike cycling coaching, said: "He was from Harrogate, I met him through a friend when he won the World Cycle Racing Grand Tour in 2012.

"I had BED restaurant in Harrogate at the time and I said to him if he won the race I would let him have a mixed grill on me.

"Low and behold when he won he came into the restaurant saying 'where's my mixed grill Dave?'."

Mr Burns explained that Mike had been living in Wales more recently, but the pair would often go our riding when Mike came home to visit family.

Mr Burns said: "He was just an absolute machine, we would go up a hill and he wouldn't even get out the saddle or change gear once.

"In the world of cycling he was huge, and massively respected.

"He was just a really nice, genuine guy and he used to talk about it all like it was nothing, it was he'd broken the world record and then he was on to the next thing.

"I had been following the race on a live link to see where he was. I went to bed and I woke up the next morning to see one of my friends saying RIP.

"He was a bit crazy, he was a mad fool, but you have to be to do the things he did on the bike. He was just a really nice funny guy and an absolutely phenomenal athlete."

Mike also founded the Transcontinental race in Europe and closer to home had even starred in Yorkshire Tea's Brewtopia TV advert in 2015.

John Hackett, Chairman of Wheel Easy Cycling Group in Harrogate, said: "It's terrible news. I didn't know him at all but I was well aware of his achievements, some of the distances he cycled were phenomenal it is a great shame.

"I think he did a lot of charity work as well. It's hard work, it doesn't come easily and he was obviously a very nice chap and very well liked."

The IPWR said the incident had taken place on the Monaro Highway at Royolla in New South Wales, just outside Canberra.

Racing from Perth to Sydney, the IPWR map tracker shows Mike had just 447 km of the 5,471 km race left to cover.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Tea said: "We are saddened to read about the death of our friend, Mike Hall during a race in Australia yesterday. Our love and condolences go out to Mike’s family and friends at this desperately sad time."