Rider drowns during Sri Lanka mountain bike race

Colombo - A mountain biker drowned Wednesday after falling into a river during an international race in Sri Lanka, police said.

The Nepali rider was swept to his death after falling into the Mahaweli river at Kuda Oya, 230 kilometres (135 miles) southeast of the capital Colombo.

"We have recovered the body from a nearby reservoir," a police official in the area said by telephone. The rider is not being named until his family has been informed.

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 Wednesday's tragedy.

There were 39 competitors in the race, mostly foreigners including riders from the UK, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.