The senior vice-president of Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, B.C., says a mountain biker is dead after a crash during the B.C. Cup downhill racing event held there over the weekend.
Michael Ballingall says the race was organized and hosted by Cycling BC, and though the competition took place at the resort, officials had not yet been debriefed on what exactly happened.
He says resort staff and management are “devastated” by the incident.
An RCMP spokesman confirmed that a cyclist died, but because the crash was not criminal in nature, he referred all queries to the BC Coroner’s Service.
The coroner’s service confirmed it is now in charge of investigating the incident, but says it’s very early in the process of trying to determine all of the facts.
Cycling BC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ballingall said the resort had not yet confirmed the identity or age of the competitor who died. He said Big White is most concerned about first responders, the family of the biker and any spectators who witnessed the crash.
“Our first attention is to the family and the individuals that were at the event and involved in the event, and then it’s to understand what actually happened,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
“The coroner will probably have the best information on that, but that takes time.”
A statement from Big White CEO Peter Plimmer said any further updates would be provided directly by Cycling BC.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the young athlete involved and further to the entire community of riders that make up the sport of mountain biking,” he said.
“Our sincerest thanks go out to the patrollers, first responders and volunteers that were on scene.”