A cyclist has died in a downhill crash on a hill above Christchurch today.

The cyclist, believed to be a man in his 50s, was cycling down Evans Pass Rd in Sumner at about 9.45am.

"Police investigations are ongoing, but witnesses report seeing the man travelling downhill prior to the crash," said Acting Senior Sergeant Jim Currie.

"Police have a number of witnesses to talk to and it is too early to say whether any other vehicle was involved in the incident."

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The death has been referred to the coroner.

No further details of the man would be released until formal identification had taken place, and his next of kin informed, police said.

Evans Pass Rd is closed between Ocean View Terrace and Summit Rd while Canterbury Police serious crash unit completes a scene examination.

Police urged the public to avoid the area.

It is hoped that the road will be reopened about 2pm.