Bristol mountain bike rider Alex Kaiser found dead in van in Wales
A MOUNTAIN bike rider from Bristol has been found dead in a van in Wales.
Concerns for the welfare of Alex Kaiser grew when he failed to contact his fiancée Sarah Hoare after a final text message at about 4.30pm on Saturday.
And the alarm was raised when the 28-year-old did not return to the Clifton home he shared with Miss Hoare on Sunday after the Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association event.
Police found Mr Kaiser dead in the back of a VW van he'd hired for the event on Monday.
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Mr Kaiser, an electrical engineer who was originally from Manchester, was due to be married in eight weeks.
He'd just bought a new bike and was trying it out for the first time at a downhill track in Rheola, when he disappeared shortly after practise. He had a £1,300 bike was stolen from his flat at Easter, as reported in the Post last month.
A search was carried out of the area and messages appealing for information were shared around social networking sites.
Police investigating say there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Kaiser's death.
Friends of Mr Kaiser said in a statement that his death had been completely unexpected, and asked that his family and Miss Hoare be left to grieve in private.
It said: "Alex passed away peacefully while sleeping in his van, while attending a mountain biking event in South Wales.
It is thought that heart complications were the cause of death. Alex and his fiancee Sarah Hoare were due to be married on July 7.
Alex grew up in Glossop, in Manchester, and has been living and working in Bristol for the past six years. Sarah and Alex's family wish to be left alone to grieve during this tragic period and ask for everyone to respect their wishes."
A friend of Miss Hoare told the Post: "It was completely unexpected. He went to sleep in his van and never woke up. He had minor heart complications that we think caused it, but we just don't know."
Mr Kaiser was a committee member of Bristol Mountain Bike Club, which expressed shock at the news.
A spokesman for the group said: "Alex was found in his van. Unfortunately it looks like he passed away in his sleep. He was a valued member of our club and will be missed by many people."
Several tributes have also been posted on social networking sites as well as the bike club's online forum.
One site user wrote: "Incredibly shocked and upset about what has happened to Alex. A great friend and an awesome bike rider."
The Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association paid tribute to Mr Kaiser in a statement on their Facebook page: "It is with great regret that we have to announce that Alex Kaiser has passed away.
"Alex was found by South Wales Police this morning inside his locked van at Rheola.
"The WDMBA are devastated by the news and we would like to express our dearest condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time. Rest In Peace Alex. Mark, Rog & Jase at the WDMBA."
A spokesman for the Neath coroner said: "We are awaiting results from a post mortem examination."