Nepali rider drowns during Sri Lanka mountain bike race

Colombo/Kathmandu, June 13

A mountain biker from Kathmandu drowned today after falling into a river during an international race in Sri Lanka, police said.

Narayan Gopal Maharjan was swept to his death after falling into the River at Kuda Oya, 230 kilometres south-east of the capital Colombo.

“We have recovered the body from a nearby reservoir,” a police official in the area said over the phone. National carrier Sri Lankan Airlines, which hosted the five-day race known as “Rumble in the Jungle”, announced it would be cancelling the event after today’s tragedy.

There were 39 competitors in the race, mostly foreigners including riders from the UK, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Besides Maharjan, Ajay Pandit Chhetri and Buddhi Bahadur Tamang (Roan) had participated from Nepal.

Rumble in the Jungle – Sri Lanka’s premier mountain bike stage race, takes riders from hot and humid jungles, through mountain hugging tea plantations and across the island’s highest plateau. Along the riders need to wade across rivers, ride through jungle, which is home to wild elephants, leopards and snakes, tackle high altitude climbs and negotiate bone clattering rocky


Via a network of rarely travelled off road trails, Rumble in the Jungle takes riders through the diverse terrain and climate unique to Sri Lanka. Intense humidity, leeches, baking sun, torrential rain, mud, sand, rock and over 7,000 metres of ascent combine to make this race the adventure of a lifetime, on one of the world’s most idyllic islands.