09 Jun, 2016

Keagan Girdlestone Involved in Major Cycling Accident


Earlier this week, South African, New Zealand based Team Dimension Data Continental Team rider Keagan Girdlestone, was in a critical condition in hospital after being involved in a major crash at the Coppa della Pace Race in Italy. Due to the seriousness of the accident, the race was immediately cancelled and riders and vehicles were directed to the finish.

Initial reports on social media platforms claimed that Keagan had passed away due to the injuries he sustained, while a post on his father’s Facebook Page corrected the reports saying that Keagan was in hospital and in a critical condition.

The exact details of the accident have not yet been confirmed, but according to witnesses, Keagan crashed twice on a decent during the race. The second crash – the more fatal one – happened when Keagan was between two team vehicles on route.

“There were four laps to go in the race and we had covered 105km of racing. It was about 16h20 and Keagan had fallen on a downhill section and was strong enough to recover and returned to the lead group. Then, a team car slowed sharply and Keagan crashed violently into the back of the car sustaining serious facial injuries,” said joint Race Director Raffaele Babini.

The race medical team as well as the race helicopter were immediately on the scene of the accident. Keagan was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Rimini and is in a critical but stable condition. According to the organisers, an investigation into the accident has now been opened and nothing more can be said until confirmed by Italian security forces.

Updates were received on Tuesday this week with the positive news that everyone wanted to hear. The good news came from Rimini, Italy when Keagan’s physician confirmed that he is now "stable and there is no immediate threat to life." It was also noted that Keagan was off the ventilator for a period of time on Tuesday morning while undergoing scans.

The time that he spent off the ventilator showed that he was able to breathe on his own. Once back in the ward, ventilation was resumed to assist him as he recovers.While his immediate situation has improved, there are many more hurdles ahead.

Once again, the family would like to thank all for their kind words and encouragement. Keagan is just 19 years of age and had just joined the Dimension Data Continental Team for the new cycling season. The Coppa della Pace was Keagan’s seconds race in Europe after having competed in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.

Kyle Deeley

Kyle Deeley

Editorial Assistant |