24 Jan 2019

New Zealander killed while cycling in Bolivia

11:52 am on 24 January 2019

A New Zealander has been killed in Bolivia while cycling the Yungas Road, known as Death Road because of how dangerous it is.

Death Road, a popular path for mountain biking tourists between La Paz and Coroico, Bolivia.

Death Road is a popular path for mountain biking tourists between La Paz and Coroico, Bolivia. Photo: 123RF

He was cycling in a tour group in rainy conditions.

The company he was biking with, Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking, says he died on 22 January after falling off the road.

Founder of Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking Alistair Matthew said Gravity Bolivia was doing an internal investigation.

"Many details are still unclear, however at this stage we do know that the deceased was riding with his group in rainy weather conditions a little over half-way through the tour, until he did not arrive at one of the prescribed stops," the company said in a statement.

The tour guides then went back up the road to look for him and saw where he had fallen off.

The lead guide went about 100m below the road down to where the cyclist had fallen to and determined that he showed no signs of life.

Authorities were immediately contacted.

The company said it has operated mountain bike tours on the road for more than 20 years, guiding more than 100,000 cyclists during this time.

While Gravity has previously had one customer die of a heart attack, it said this was the first rider they had that died in a bicycle accident.

"His family has been informed but to maintain their privacy we will not be releasing his name. All of us at Gravity Bolivia are deeply shaken by this tragic accident and want to express our deepest condolences to his friends and family," the company said in a statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed the person has died.

It said it was providing consular support to their partner and family.

A spokesperson was unable to comment further on the circumstances of the death.