Redlands Bicycle Classic contender Tate Meintjes, 19, was killed Tuesday morning in a collision with a vehicle, the race promoters said.
Meintjes and his Team California teammates were riding on Sand Canyon Road, which will serve as part of the time trial course when racing commences today.
“The Redlands Bicycle Classic community is devastated by the news of Meintjes passing,” the organizers sent out in an email late Tuesday. “On behalf of the entire Redlands Bicycle Classic organizing committee and the Redlands, California community, we want to extend our deepest condolences to Tate’s family, friends, and his teammates during this painful time.”
The California Highway Patrol said in a statement that the Reno, Nevada native was riding west on Sand Canyon Road behind a Honda Accord, just east of Crafton Avenue.
“The Honda made a U-turn directly into the path of the cyclist and the cyclist crashed into the Honda,” authorities said. The collision was reported at 10:52 a.m. His death was pronounced after being transported to Loma Linda University Hospital.
“We are absolutely heartbroken by the tragic collision that occurred Tuesday,” said Marc Shaw, president of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. “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.”
Prior to racing on the road with Team California and Bear Pro Team p/b Trek, Meintjes had represented USA Cycling at the UCI Junior Canadian Cup in 2017 in mountain biking.
After racing in Canada, he was listed as one of Murray’s Top 100 Sports Figures in that year, alongside Freestyle skier David Wise, and five-time Olympian Katerina Nash.
Meintjes was in his second year at the University of Nevada, studying mechanical engineering.
Content provided by Redlands Bicycle Classic. Photo from Mentjies Facebook page.