Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental team rider Keagan Girdlestone was seriously injured during the Coppa della Pace race in Italy on Sunday. A post on his father’s Facebook page reports that he is in a ‘critical but stable’ condition.
Italian website Tuttobici reported that the 19-year-old South African hit the back of a team car as he was chasing back to the peloton after an earlier crash. The race was subsequently cancelled.
Exact details of the incident are still unclear. The team tweeted on Sunday evening that they were waiting for a medical report on Girdlestone. He was transported from the race to a hospital in Rimini.
“We can confirm @Keagan_vtc was involved in a serious crash during a u23 race in Italy today. We’re waiting on race medical for further info,” said the team.
A message was posted on his father Wayne’s Facebook page on Sunday evening saying: “Keagan has been in an accident and is currently in theatre in a critical but stable condition. Your prayers for his strength and for him to continue fighting would be appreciated. What is on social media is not factual so please keep him in your prayers as he is a fighter.”
Girdlestone won the Tour du Valromey and Ronde des Valles in 2015, and placed fourth in the junior time trial at the UCI World Championships. He moved to Lucca, Italy, with the team for the 2016 season to gain more experience of racing in Europe.