A Burnaby man was shot while participating in a road cycling event near the small community of Spences Bridge in the Fraser Canyon early Saturday morning.

Craig Premack, 59, was shot on Highway 1 between the towns of Lytton and Ashcroft at around 1 a.m. according to Lytton RCMP. Premack, who is well-known in local cycling circles, was one of 36 participants in the two-day, 600-kilometre Cache Creek 600 cycling event.

Premack was shot in the upper body, according to RCMP, and also suffered a broken arm. He was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries and police said the unknown suspect fled the scene in a pickup truck.

Cst. Kris Clark, of the Lytton RCMP said the incident is unlike any he has seen.

“This is extremely unusual,” Clark said. “It’s very concerning just simply from the random nature of this incident.”

“We’ve got, from all accounts, a completely innocent victim being assaulted with a firearm and injured seriously by an unknown suspect,” he said.

Ray Nigalis is the owner of the Inn at Spences Bridge which was one of the checkpoints along the event route.

“It’s really disappointing that our little community is making the news for all the wrong reasons," Nigalis said.

Dave King, the Cache Creek 600 co-organizer, said Premack is a strong rider who has been a member of the tight-knit BC Randonneurs Cycling Club for years. He was shocked by the random shooting.

“It is unbelievable,” King said. “I’ve got no words to explain it.”

The race began in Pitt Meadows 7 a.m. Saturday morning and according to the event itinerary, Spences Bridge was just over 350 kilometres into the event route. Similar events take around 30 hours to complete and King said some riders will choose take a break partway through the route.

"Some people will sleep, some people will ride straight through, depending on the rider," he said.

The investigation is ongoing and police are looking to speak with anyone with information about the incident, the suspect or the pickup truck.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Lytton RCMP at 250-455-2225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Scott Hurst