Tate Meintjes, 19, of Reno, Nevada, died Tuesday after a car hit him while he was pre-riding the time trial route for this week’s Redlands Bicycle Classic, according to an announcement from the race organizer.
A California Highway Patrol statement said that Meintjes was following a car on Sand Canyon Road, part of Wednesday’s stage 1 time trial route. The car turned in front of him, causing the crash.
The crash occurred at 10:52 a.m., according to the police report. Although he was taken to Loma Linda University Hospital, Meintjes died.
“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.”
In a rider profile he wrote on the Bear Development Team website last year, Meintjes said:
All my life, I have been pushed to achieve my full potential in every endeavor I take on – whether that be school, sports, or work. When I was taught to do my best, I think my parents were hoping I would just do the best I could in different aspects of my life. I don’t think they ever saw it coming when that translated into me trying not just do my best, but to live my best. I have lived in Reno, Nevada for my entire life and it is a great base for everything I do in my journey to live my best.
Part of this is going to school. I am attending the University of Nevada, Reno and am studying mechanical engineering. I live on campus and when I am not in class I am outside doing something I love. During the winter I work at a ski resort teaching young children how to ski. I am an instructor in the same program that I went through when I was a young kid learning how to ski. This makes my job rewarding because the program that I am teaching in gave me the building blocks to become the skier and snowboarder that I am today.
VeloNews extends its sincere condolences to Meintjes’s family, friends, and the many cyclists at Redlands who are grieving.