Yerlan Pernebekov, a former Asian junior road champion and member of Astana’s UCI Continental development squad, has died of a stroke at the age of 19.
According to a statement from Astana Pro Team, Pernebekov, who was attending the Continental team’s training camp in Ecuador, began suffering from a headache on Friday evening and was taken to hospital straight away.
He was later diagnosed to have suffered a stroke as a result of a burst blood vessel, with medical staff placing him in an induced coma.
“Unfortunately and in spite of every effort by doctors and medical staff, Yerlan could not be saved,” the team said.
It went on: “Astana team management along with representatives from Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry are currently working to bring Yerlan home to Kazakhstan.”
Tengri News says that “medical tests made thee weeks before showed no health issues.”
Astana Pro Team said it “wishes to express its sincere grief to the family and loved ones of Yerlan Pernebekov. His death is an enormous loss not only to the team, but for all of Kazakh Cycling.
“Yerlan will forever be remembered as a kind, sweet and hard-working young man who smiled through every challenge. He dreamed of great victories.
“Yerlan was the pride and joy of his family and friends. His memory will forever remain in our hearts.”
Today, the team published details of a memorial fund that has been set up in his name, saying: “The staff and management at Astana Pro Team now turn to our friends and colleagues who follow and fund our efforts to open your hearts and help in bringing material comfort as well as moral support to Yerlan’s family in the wake of the untimely loss of their only wage-earner.”
“We kindly request you to stand witness to the family’s grief, and honour their mourning. Material contributions we gently direct towards these requisites,” it added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.