Ben Sonntag, one of the veteran riders on the U.S. cross-country mountain bike scene, was reportedly hit and killed by a pickup truck while riding his bike near his home in Durango, Colorado.
The news was reported by The Durango Herald. Sonntag was 39.
According to The Herald Sonntag was identified by The Colorado State Patrol. The incident occurred around 12:08 p.m. on Wednesday on County Road 105 outside the town of Marvel.
Sonntag hailed from Germany and moved to Durango in 2008 to pursue a degree at Fort Lewis College, where he was a star on the collegiate racing team and claimed multiple national titles. Known locally as “The German,” Sonntag gained national prominence on the domestic cross-country scene, where he won multiple national-level races on the NMBS and Pro XC series. He raced for several different professional teams, including the Cannondale-Monavie team, Cannondale Factory Team, and most recently the Clif Bar Pro Team.
In 2010 Sonntag scored a major international result by winning Costa Rica’s La Ruta de los Conquistadores race in dramatic fashion. He became just the third non-Costa Rican rider at the time to have won the race, joining Swiss legend Thomas Frischknecht and Leonardo Paez of Colombia.
“For foreigners it was always so hard to win here,” Sonntag told VeloNews in 2010. “Just to be part of that club is really incredible.”
This story is developing. Please stay tuned to velonews.com for more information.