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The news from the Tour of Gila this week included one item about another crash. Chad Young was involved… and the initial report wasn’t good. The subsequent release was even worse.
– By James Stout
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Bike racing teaches us to deal with pain, to put away the feelings of physical discomfort which can interfere with reaching our goals. What bike racing doesn’t do is equip us to deal with mental anguish that goes far deeper than a burning in your legs and a shortness of breath.
That is the kind of pain that people involved with the Axeon-Hagens Berman team are dealing with today as the confront the news about Chad Young after his crash at the Tour of the Gila last week.
Just 21, Young had been chasing back on to the front group after a KOM at the prestigious high altitude race in New Mexico.
Whilst he briefly stabilised after being airlifted to hospital, he is now not expected to recover from the injuries he sustained in the crash.
Young was taken from the scene of the crash to a hospital in Tucson Arizona and his team released a statement to clarify that he was not expected to recovery from his injuries (above).
Team manager Axel Merckx released a very brief statement saying that: “At this time, his family asks for privacy. We at Axeon Hagens Berman respect the family’s wishes and want them to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers during this devastating and difficult time.”
For a team focused on developing young riders for the WorldTour, the trauma of such a talented young man’s life being cut so tragically short seems particularly raw.
Young had ridden with the team for three years and was competing in his first Tour of the Gila. For his parents, the loss is almost unimaginable. For the sport as a whole it has been a tragic month and it seems an apt moment to remind ourselves to enjoy every ride, because we never really know how man rides we have left.
At this time, we feel it is not appropriate to discuss the specific circumstances of the crash or the race and send our condolences to the the Axeon-Hagens Berman team, the Young family and everyone else who is feeling the loss of another cyclist in what has been a tragic month for the sport.
– By James Stout