19-year-old rider killed during time trial recce ahead of US stage race

Tate Meintjes was involved in a crash while previewing the route for the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California

Tate Meintjes died after a crash during a TT course preview (Picture: Twitter/ @Tatemeintjes)

A 19-year-old rider has died after a crash with a vehicle during a time trial course recce.

Tate Meintjes and team-mates were previewing the TT course of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, a stage race in California, on Tuesday morning (March 12) when the crash happened.

A car made a U-turn in the road, driving into Meintjes’ path, and the rider was unable to avoid the crash according to police.

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The Team California rider was taken to hospital but died shortly after.

President of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Marc Shaw said: “We are absolutely heartbroken by the tragic collision that occurred on Tuesday.

“The cycling community is a very tight-knit one - the loss of such a talented, young cyclist is being felt across all cycling disciplines.

“The race committee is working closely with our entire field of talented athletes and support staff to ensure they are receiving the assistance they need during this difficult time.”

The Redlands Bicycle Classic is a five-stage professional race for both men and women, including a time trial, road stages and a criterium.

Organisers also host a four-stage para-cycling event alongside.

Meintjes and his team had been previewing the TT course on Sand Canyon road ahead of the race start on Wednesday (March 13).

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A statement from California Highway Patrol said: “The Honda Accord made a U-turn directly into the path of the cyclist and the cyclist crash into the Honda.”

Meintjes, from Reno, Nevada, was taken to Loma University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Before racing on the road with Team California and Bear Pro Team p/b Trek, Meintjes represented the USA at the UCI Junior Canadian Cup in mountain biking in 2017.

He was in his second year of studying mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.