A 19-year-old cyclist from Team California who was set to start Stage 1 on the Redlands Bicycle Classic has died. Tate Meintjes was pre-riding the individual time trial course on Tuesday morning when he was struck by a driver according to race organizers.
The Redlands Bicycle Classic is deeply saddened to report @TeamCABike rider, Tate Meintjes, was tragically killed in a collision with a vehicle Tuesday morning. Our deepest condolences to Tate's family, friends & teammates. #RideforTate
Full statement: https://t.co/wLD0VMQqhf pic.twitter.com/SjykGfMfGv
— Redlands Classic 🚴 (@redlandsClassic) March 13, 2019
Meintjes of Reno, Nevada was riding west on Sand Canyon Road behind a Honda Accord according to a California Highway Patrol statement. The driver of the vehicle made a u-turn into Meintjes path causing the crash which was reported at 10:52 a.m. He was transported to the Loma Linda University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“We are absolutely heartbroken by the tragic collision that occurred Tuesday. The cycling community is a very tight knit one, the loss of such a talented, young cyclist is being felt across all cycling disciplines,” Redlands president Marc Shaw said. “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.”
Meintjes got his start in mountain biking. He represented USA Cycling at the UCI Junior Canadian Cup in 2017 before joining the Bear Development Team in 2018 for his first season on the road. In 2019, he moved the Team California.
Stage 1 still went ahead as planned after Meintjes parents drove to Redlands and spoke with his team asking them to continue with the stage.
Meintjes was enrolled at the University of Nevada in Reno where he studied mechanical engineering.
A friendly reminder to our community and friends to please watch out for cyclists this week when driving on our roads.🚘⚠️Give them plenty of space when passing, and overall please be aware of your surroundings. ⚠️Thank you! 🙏🏼#redlandsClassic
— Redlands Classic 🚴 (@redlandsClassic) March 12, 2019