Nepali rider dies during mountain bike race in Sri Lanka

Nepali rider Narayan Gopal Maharjan drowned in river near Kuda Oya during the Rumble In The Jungle mountain bike event.

Sri Lankan Airlines, the main sponsor of the Rumble In The Jungle, announced it would be cancelling the event.

According to a report in The Himalayan Times the Sri Lanka police stated: “We have recovered the body from a nearby reservoir”.

The Rumble In The Jungle is a multi-day stage endurance event based in Sri Lanka that features a mostly foreign competitor base of around 40 riders. Countries represented in this year’s event included the UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Nepal (who had three competitors in total).

The event route passes through hot and humid jungles, through mountains and across Sri Lanka’s high altitude plateau. Competitors often need to wade through rivers as well as ride through jungle, which is home to leeches, elephants, leopards and snakes. As well as the environment being extremely challenging, with around 7,000 metres of climbing, the varied weather is a big challenge, with extreme heat alternating with torrential rains.