Trans-Australia race canceled after rider dies in accident

(Reuters) - The Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia was canceled on Friday after British cyclist Mike Hall was struck and killed by a car while competing in the marathon event, organizers said.

The crash happened on Friday morning on the Monaro Highway at Royalla, south of Canberra, in New South Wales. Hall, 35, who won the 2012 World Cycle Race, died at the scene.

"The Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been canceled with immediate effect in light of this morning's tragic incident," race organizers said in a statement before confirming Hall's death.

"This is a difficult time for everyone involved, along with their families, and their well-being is our primary concern."

The Yorkshire-born Hall had been in second place at the time of the accident. The race, from Perth to Sydney, began on March 18 and was due to finish on Friday.

"I can suggest, given the nature of the collision, an investigation into the circumstances would suggest the rider of the push bike died at the scene," ACT Policing Sergeant Chris Meagher was quoted as saying by local media reports.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru)