U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame inductee Dale Stetina, a multi-time national road champion and Olympian plus father of professional cyclist Peter Stetina, was seriously injured on Saturday when he crashed on his bicycle after swerving to avoid a collision with a motorist outside of Boulder, Colorado.
Such were the extent of his injuries that Stetina had to be airlifted to Boulder Community Hospital where his injuries were reported as "life-threatening" by Boulder's Daily Camera.
According to the Daily Camera Stetina, 57, was travelling east in a group of cyclists on Lefthand Canyon when a Jeep SUV, headed west, crossed the center line and drove onto the shoulder on the opposite side of the road. All of the cyclists were able to avoid colliding with the vehicle but one cyclist, Stetina, lost control while taking evasive action and crashed heavily.
The Boulder County Sheriff's Office stated that Stetina suffered head injuries, with additional information provided via an email published on Steve Tilford's personal website.
"Today as we descended from Ward in Left Hand Canyon, Dale was involved in a serious bicycle accident that was caused by a vehicle pulling onto the road as he descended towards it," read the email.
"Dale did not hit the car, but hit the pavement, landing face first, suffering significant facial and ocular damage, and loss of responsiveness. EMTs were on the scene rapidly, he received good care. He was flown to Boulder Community Hospital in a Flight for Life helicopter. He is there now in ICU.
"The CatScan diagnosis revealed brain stem injuries. The neurosurgeon describes the injuries as very serious. Dale is in tough shape. The future of Dale’s recovery is not known at this time, the doctors have offered no predictions. His vital signs are stable given the trauma he encountered. We are all hopeful."
Dale Stetina and his brother Wayne, currently a vice president at Shimano America, were stalwarts of American cycling throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. Dale has over 200 domestic and international victories in his palmares, highlighted by Colorado's Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger stage race in 1979 and its successor, the Coors Classic Stage Race, in 1983 - the most prestigious American event of its era.
He was a member of the 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams for road cycling and won national titles on both the road and track in an 18-year career which came to a conclusion in 1983.
Dale's son Peter Stetina, 26, has been a professional cyclist for six years, all within Jonathan Vaughters' Slipstream organisation. Peter Stetina, a Boulder, CO native, is a two-time U23 national time trial champion and has been a member of the WorldTour Garmin squad from 2010 through 2013. Peter provided key support to teammate Ryder Hesjedal's overall Giro d'Italia victory in 2012 and Stetina himself placed 3rd overall in the Giro's best young rider classification in the 2011 edition.