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Promising teenage cyclist killed after being hit by driver just days before World Championships

Latest details as police in Colorado have now confirmed the 17-year-old, due to travel to Scotland ahead of competing in a junior mountain bike event next week, was hit from behind while cycling on the hard shoulder of a highway

More details have now been released about the death of a promising 17-year-old cyclist who was due to represent the United States at the UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland next week. Law enforcement in Colorado confirmed that Magnus White was hit from behind by a motorist as he used the hard shoulder of a highway popular with local riders.

USA Cycling had, on Sunday, first announced the tragic news, saying that White had died after being "struck by a car" while he was cycling near his home in Boulder, Colorado.

Yesterday, Gabriel Moltrer, a trooper from the Colorado State Patrol, released more details, saying that the young cyclist had been take to hospital following the crash, where he was pronounced dead.

The incident happened at around 12.30pm on Saturday as White rode along the north-south stretch of Highway 119 between Boulder and Longmont. It has been reported the route is so popular with bike riders there has been talk of building a separate bike lane.

In the absence of such infrastructure, White was instead riding on the southbound hard shoulder of the highway when he was hit from behind by the driver of a Toyota Matrix. The authorities say there is no indication that drugs, alcohol or excessive speed were involved.

The young rider, due to compete in the Junior Men's Mountain Bike Cross-Country event at the UCI Cycling World Championships next Thursday (10th August), was "focused on his final preparations before leaving for Glasgow".

Described as a "rising star" by his nation's governing body, White won the 2021 Junior 17-18 Cyclocross National Championships, and had represented the USA Cycling National Team for a full season of European cyclocross racing, including at the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Writing on Facebook, Team Novo Nordisk rider, Becky Furuta said she had been driving on Saturday when she saw "a car in a ditch with a shattered windshield and the wreckage of a bicycle nearby".

"It's a route my friends and I ride all the time thanks to the wide shoulders and proliferation of other bikes," she explained. "I slowed down and sent up a silent prayer that it wouldn't be someone I knew. It was Magnus."

Magnus White (GoFundMe)

Even before the latest details of the circumstances around the collision were released, USA Cycling had received criticism for describing the incident as a "training accident".

One reply asked: "When are we going to stop sugar-coating this stuff? This wasn't a training accident. He was hit by a car [being driven]." Another asking for the post to be rewritten to reflect the collision, a third saying "being hit by a car isn't a 'training accident'."

In the hours since, more than $100,000 has been raised to support Magnus' family "to give them time to grieve".

The GoFundMe page, set up by the mother of one of Magnus' teammates, described him as "bright and talented".

"Magnus was taken from us while doing what he loved most, riding his bike," it says. "Magnus' family is strong, but support from their community will go a long way to give them time to grieve.

Magnus White (GoFundMe)

"He began cycling when he was eight and quickly rose through the ranks. Magnus' journey in cycling was driven by a tireless work ethic and a deep desire to achieve his personal best. He was proud to represent his community and country around the world.

"Magnus accomplished many of the goals he set for himself. Magnus won the USA Cyclocross National Championship in December 2021. He raced in the UCI Cyclocross World Championship in 2022 and 2023 and was scheduled to race in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on August 10.

"He raced for Boulder Junior Cycling and represented the United States at various international events. He was to start his senior year in high school in a few weeks.
Magnus leaves behind his parents Jill and Michael and his brother Eero and countless friends worldwide."

USA Cycling has donated $2,500 to the fundraiser.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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4 comments

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ktache | 11 months ago
4 likes

My heart goes out to Magnus's family and his teammates.

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Secret_squirrel | 11 months ago
3 likes

"accident". You'd think USA Cycling could be more nuanced in its language.

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hawkinspeter replied to Secret_squirrel | 11 months ago
10 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

"accident". You'd think USA Cycling could be more nuanced in its language.

The USA is possibly the most car-brained society around. They've gone all-in and built their cities and suburbs specifically around everyone using personal cars. I suspect that even the U.S. cyclists doff their caps to the all mighty motor car.

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Turk replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
2 likes

True that, we live daily with close pases, always have and always will. Colorado is base to many Pros here, also the last place far too many ride. RIP MW, this young man was a joy to watch. 

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