Axeon Hagens Berman won the final stage at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico on Sunday, but the team was focused on the condition of their 21-year-old teammate Chad Young of Newmarket, New Hampshire, who was involved in an early crash during the day.
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Jhonatan Narvaez won the team’s seventh UCI race of the young season from the breakaway on the famed “Gila Monster”, but the post-race celebrations were subdued by the news that Young was hurt badly during a high-speed crash on a descent during the first half of the stage.
Young was quickly flown by helicopter to a hospital in Tucson, Arizona, where he was listed in stable condition, recovering from severe facial injuries suffered in the accident.
The last update from the team’s official Twitter account read, “Update on Chad Young, hurt Sunday in a crash at #Gila2017: Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of support. He remains in stable condition.”
The crash happened as Young was attempting to bridge back to the breakaway with his teammate Edward Anderson. At least four other riders went down during the high-speed accident. Anderson suffered only minor injuries and was able to finish the stage.
The general manager for the young American development squad, Axel Merckx, was at home in Canada when he heard of the crash. “At this point, we simply ask everyone in the cycling community to please keep Chad in their thoughts and prayers,” he said.
Going into the final stage, Young was sitting 31st in the general classification and finished 11th during the criterium won by the unrelated Eric Young (Rally Cycling) on Saturday.
A third-year member of the team, Young most recently competed at the at the Joe Martin and San Dimas Stage Races finishing 31st and 28th respectively.
All thoughts are with Young, his family and the entire Axeon Hagens Berman team which will continue to post updates as they have them to their Twitter account.