The family of Tate Meintjes, a 19-year-old amateur cyclist who died March 12 in a collision with an automobile while previewing the time trial course at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California, has started a scholarship fund to honour the young cyclist.
"We will be providing a yearly scholarship for a University of Nevada, Reno student who exhibits Tate's outlook on life: drive, dedication, compassion, happiness and simple joy," Meintjes' father, Andre, wrote in a post on Facebook.
Tate Meintjes, who rode for the Team California domestic elite amateur program, was riding with a group of cyclists who were previewing a downhill section of the out-and-back course the day before the race, starting with a descent on Sand Canyon Road outside of Redlands in southern California, when the incident occurred.
Meintjes collided with an automobile when the vehicle's driver turned suddenly into his path. Meintjes suffered major injuries when he crashed through the vehicle's window. He was pronounced dead at Loma Linda University Hospital.
The California Highway Patrol told the Redlands Daily Facts that Meintjes was following a Honda Accord that was travelling in the same direction when the crash occurred.
"The Honda made a U-turn directly into the path of the cyclist and the cyclist crashed into the Honda," the CHP said. A CHP spokesman told Cyclingnews Thursday morning that no citations have been issued and the incident is still under investigation.
Team California continued to compete in the five-day national calendar race after Meintjes' parents drove from their home in Reno to Redlands and asked the team to continue. Team California used the hashtag #ridefortate throughout the event. The family says the scholarship fund is another way to honour Tate Meintjes' life.
"His love of life is contagious, his determination was inspiring, and his happiness was through the roof," his brother, Ian, said in the Facebook post announcing the scholarship fund.
Tate Meintjes started racing mountain bikes in 2013 and excelled as a junior, winning the Pro XCT race in the 17-18-year-old category in Fontana in 2017 and then following it with third in the Pro XCT in Bonelli. His results garnered the attention of USA Cycling, which sent him to the Canada Cup later that year.
He joined California's Bear Development Team in 2018 and enrolled at the University of Nevada in Reno to study mechanical engineering.
The University of Nevada, Reno will hold all donations until the family has worked out all the details in connection with the scholarship, according to the Facebook post.
Donations can be sent to the university as follows:
Make checks payable to University of Nevada, Reno Foundation
In the memo section of the check write: Gift for the Tate Meintjes Scholarship
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557
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