A car accident took the life of Erica Greif as she was on her way to the Redlands Bicycle Classic on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old had been scheduled to be at the start of the race for Team ZOCA-Halo Sports.
Team manager Martin Santos said that he knew of her death before the first stage, but waited until the finish to tell her teammates. "I knew prior but I didn't say anything until afterward," Santos said. "I tried to keep my composure. I was shaking like a leaf. The girls took it hard."
"They were very close to her. We are a team here, a family."
He added that the team would plan a memorial for Greif later this week.
"It is with a great sense of sadness that we learned of the passing of Erica Greif as she was on her way to The Redlands Bicycle Classic," race organiser Bob Peppler said in a written statement. "Bicycle racing is a small family, and Redlands is a community that has many close ties to the cycling world. We send our deepest sympathy and regret to the friends, family and teammates of this bright young star in the sport of cycling."
Greif, an elite rider with the women's team, was engaged to Nick Schaffner of the Herbalife Team. She was to graduate from the University of Nevada-Reno this spring.