Young Keagan Girdlestone in critical condition after crash in Italian race

UPDATE: Initial reports on social media claimed Girdlestone had died, but his father says on Facebook that his son is in hospital in critical condition. “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.”

The 19 year-old who rides for the South African Continental team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was taking part in Coppa della Pace in Rimini when he crashed twice on a descent according to a report.

The Under 23 race for was stopped after the accident and then cancelled. According to Tuttobiciweb, a helicopter was quickly on the scene, but it was to no avail.

Last year, he had finished in 4th place in the World Junior Time Trial Championships amongst numerous other good results including the GC at both the Ronde des Vallées and the Ain’Ternational-Rhône Alpes-Valromey Tour.

Keagan’s brother Dylan has ridden in the past for MTN-Energade, Drapac and Garmin-Sharp as a stagiaire.