Former Hagens Berman Axeon rider Adrien Costa loses leg in climbing incident
On July 29, former Hagens Berman Axeon rider Adrien Costa was involved in a serious accident while rock climbing in Mono County, California, according to Axel Merckx, director of the Hagens Berman Axeon team, in a post on the team’s website. His injuries necessitated that his right leg be amputated above the knee.
Saddened to report dear friend & former teammate Adrien Costa was seriously injured while rock climbing causing him to lose part of his leg. We set up a GoFundMe page to support his rehab. Please consider donating & sharing, anything helps.https://t.co/XsT9gtovM3
— Hagens Berman Axeon (@HBAxeon) August 8, 2018
The incident occurred on the north ridge of Mount Conness, where Adrien was climbing at around 11,400 feet, near the base of the Conness Glacier. He was scrambling up a talus field to the base of the climbing route when a large rock, weighing around 4,000 pounds, gave way and pinned his leg against a boulder below.
According to the article, thanks to the efforts of two hikers who were nearby, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue were able to locate Costa, and after some difficulty launching their own helicopter due to heavy smoke in the area, they were able to free Adrien and evacuate him, with the help of a National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk that was close by on fire assignment.
Costa arrived at the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno in critical condition. According to Merckx, thanks to the hospital’s medical staff, and the quick thinking of the hikers who first reported his location, his life was saved. Tragically, there was no choice but to amputate the leg.
Costa raced for the Hagens Berman Axeon team before announcing in February 2017 that he would not return to professional racing this season.
Costa turned heads in 2016 with a flurry of major international results, winning the youth classification at Belgium’s Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux, before becoming the first American to win France’s Tour of Bretagne. Later that summer Costa finished second overall at the Tour of Utah, where he also won the youth and mountains classifications.
The major results set the stage for Costa to break out on the international circuit in 2017. But after a quiet spring, Costa revealed that he was taking a break from racing altogether, citing fatigue.
The team has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses and is asking the cycling community to join its efforts.