Former racer Adrien Costa was injured last month in a rock climbing accident in California, and his former team Axeon Hagens Berman and manager Axel Merckx have come together to raise money for the 20-year-old, who had his right leg amputated below the knee after it was crushed by a boulder.
The team announced the fundraising effort for Costa's rehabilitation at the Tour of Utah, where Costa finished second overall in 2016.
"On July 29, our friend and former teammate Adrien Costa was involved in a serious accident while climbing in Mono County, California. 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," the team wrote on his fundraising page.
Costa raced with the Axeon squad in 2016 and 2017, having had stints with the Hagens Berman U23 programme and California Giant development team. He won the Tour de Bretagne, finished second in the Tour of Utah, and went on to race as a trainee with the Quick-Step squad.
But after the death of teammate Chad Young from a crash at the Tour of the Gila in 2017, Costa took a leave of absence to reevaluate his life and cycling career. He did not return to the sport.
According to the posting, Costa was climbing alone, and was found by two hikers and the Mono County Sheriff's search and rescue. Because of smoke from wildfires in the area, Costa was rescued with the help of a nearby National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk team that was fighting the fire.
He was taken to the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno in critical condition, and his right leg was amputated below the knee.
"Everyone at Hagens Berman Axeon is deeply saddened by the news and our thoughts and prayers are with Adrien's family and friends at this difficult time," the team wrote
"We have set up this page to help with medical expenses and are asking the cycling community to join our efforts. Any donations, or help you can offer in terms of sharing this link, would be greatly appreciated."