Tragedy has struck the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb even before it began as a motorcyclist met an untimely demise after going off a cliff during the practice runs.

According to The Denver Post, 39-year old Carl Sorensen went off the Pikes Peak Highway over a cliff between Devil’s Playground and the mountain’s 4,300 meter summit. Sorensen leaves behind his wife and child.

Race officials were shocked by the death of Sorensen.

“Throughout the 92 years that this unique race has been conducted on America's Mountain, we have experienced the ultimate joy in triumph, the disappointment of failure and now the unexpected heartbreak of the loss of a competitor. We mourn the tragic death of Carlton and he will be in all of our hearts this Sunday for the 93rd Race to the Clouds,” said the race officials in a statement.

Sorensen’s wife stated that Carl always loved the hill climb event.

“He left our lives while doing something that he loved, and it is the only thing that has the ability to deal with the reality of life, the acceptance of the competitors of the dangers in the race and the heart and soul of a great man,” Sorensen’s wife said in a statement.

An official statement regarding the cause of Sorensen’s death is yet to be released out of respect for Sorensen's family and relatives.

For the record, Carl Sorensen is the second motorcyclist to die up the infamous mountain.

Source: The Denver Post