Big South African talent Keagan Girdlestone in critical condition after Italian race crash

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Team Dimension Data Continental squad rider Keagan Girdlestone is in a serious condition after a crash on the final stage of the Italian Coppa della Pace race but, fortunately, the accident is less serious than was first stated.

On Sunday afternoon some foreign language media outlets claimed the 19 year old had died, but his family stated that this was not the case.

“Keagan has been in an accident and is currently in theatre in a critical but stable condition,” stated a post written on his father Wayne’s Facebook page.

“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. Thanks Helen.”

His brother Dylan, who previously raced as a stagiaire with the Garmin-Sharp team, was also distressed by the inaccurate media reports and tweets.

He later gave an update on the situation.

A post on Wayne Girdlestone’s Facebook page had a similar message.

“Short update, Keagan is out of theatre and in recovery but still in a critical condition. Please keep the prayers going for Keagan and family.”

According to the Italian site Tuttobiciweb, Keagan Girdlestone crashed on a descent during Sunday’s final stage of the Coppa della Pace. He was apparently chasing back on but was involved in another accident lower down the same descent, hitting the back of one of the vehicles in the race caravan and apparently going through the rear window.

Thankfully earlier suggestions that the accident may have had the most serious outcome were inaccurate.

The 19 year old was fourth in last year’s junior world time trial championships, a result which underlines his potential.

He also took a stage win plus the overall victory in both the 2015 Tour du Valromey and the 2015 Ronde des Valles, and was second in last year’s junior Oceania Championship time trial.

He is part of the Dimension Data Continental squad, a feeder setup for the WorldTour outfit.

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