Cyclist flies off road, dies during California charity ride

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An amateur cyclist was killed after losing control on a winding California mountain road during Levi's GranFondo charity ride, an event founded by former national champion Levi Leipheimer, authorities said.

Edward Lund was traveling about 35 mph downhill when he misjudged a curve, flew off the road and landed in a dry creek bed Saturday in Sonoma County, the California Highway Patrol said.

The 54-year-old Fresno resident, who was wearing a helmet, died of a head injury, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

A visibly shaken Leipheimer, a two-time U.S. champion and Olympic medalist, announced the death at the post-ride festival in Santa Rosa, where riders returned from courses ranging from 32 to 116 miles.

"I'm incredibly sad to announce that there was an accident on the road," Leipheimer said, adding that the cycling community had "lost one of our own."

It was the first fatal accident in the event's seven-year history, the newspaper said.

Led by cycling luminaries such as Leipheimer and German cycling legend Jan Ullrich, just over 6,000 riders from all over the world took part this year.

The event was expected to raise more than $200,000 for various charities.