The cycling community has come out in force to help raise money for former rider Adrien Costa after he had to have part of his right leg amputated following a climbing accident late last month. Costa had been climbing when a large boulder fell on his leg, damaging it sufficiently that doctors were forced to amputate it above the knee.
Costa’s former Hagens Berman Axeon team set up a GoFundMe for the 20-year-old earlier this week in order to help fund his rehabilitation. News spread quickly of the effort and several current and former professionals, coaches and teams have lent their financial assistance to it.
The initial goal has been set at 100,000 USD and has almost reached that after two days with Romain Bardet, Michael Valgren, Joao Correia, Nathan Haas, Christian Vande Velde and the Quick-Step Floors team among those that have donated. Hagens Berman Axeon team manager Axel Merckx and his father Eddy Merckx have also donated. In total, more than 700 people have contributed to the fund-raising effort with the total currently at just over 81,000 USD.
As well as financial aid, there has been plenty of messages of support for Costa with former US road race champion Larry Warbasse writing on Twitter, "This kid was the most professional cyclist I have ever seen, while not even yet being an 'official' professional. He approached cycling with an insane drive and unreal work ethic, which I know he will apply to his rehab. Let's help him in any way we can."
LottoNL-Jumbo rider Pascal Eenkhoorn confirmed that the team would be auctioning off a signed leader's jersey from the Tour of Utah to help raise further funds. His teammate Sepp Kuss currently leads the overall classification after winning stage 2, while Daan Olivier heads up the mountains classification.
Costa was one of America’s rising talents in cycling. In 2014, he became the junior road race champion and went on to take silver in the junior time trial at the World Championships later that year and would go on to do it again the following season. In 2016, he finished third overall at the Tour de l’Avenir, where he won the time trial, and second at the Tour of Utah.
In July 2017, he announced that he would take a leave of absence from cycling and go travelling and study. Costa cited fatigue as his reason but the news came soon after the death of his teammate Chad Young following a crash at the Tour of the Gila. Costa was racing in Europe at the time but had not raced since the accident happened.
Initially, the leave of absence was only for the remainder of the 2017 season but he confirmed in February that he would not be racing in 2018, saying “I’m just not ready to come back yet.”