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Astana Continental team rider Yerlan Pernebekov dies of stroke at age of 19

Former Asian junior road champion fell ill at training camp in Ecuador

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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