As the United Nations marks World Bicycle Day on 3 June, we highlight some of the cyclists who have impressed on the world stage since competing at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
Alongside Wiebe Scholten, Niek Kimmann won bronze for the Netherlands in the men’s team cycling event at the YOG Nanjing 2014 and just a year later was crowned world BMX champion. In 2016, he claimed silver at the World Championships – narrowly missing out on a successful defence of his title – before finishing seventh at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 after suffering an injury in the quarter-finals. While injuries and other issues hampered his progress in 2017, he returned stronger than ever in 2018 to win four out of eight World Cup events, finishing the year as the world number one. He then went on to successfully defend his overall World Cup crown in 2019, while also winning silver at the World Championships.
Argentina’s Agustina Roth thrilled the home crowd at the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, as she topped the podium in the mixed BMX freestyle park event alongside compatriot Iñaki Iriartes. Roth, then aged 17, scored 74 points in her second run to finish behind Lara Lessmann in the women’s final, while Iriartes edged Evan Brandes to top the men’s standings. The results left Roth and Iriartes tied with the German pairing of Lessmann and Brandes, with the two teams sharing the gold medal. Since then, Roth has successfully stepped up to the senior stage, winning a BMX freestyle bronze medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima (Peru).
Twan van Gendt
Like his compatriot Niek Kimmann, Dutch BMX star Twan van Gendt has enjoyed great success since competing at the YOG. Just two years after winning bronze in the combined mixed team event at Singapore 2010, Van Gendt made it to the BMX final at the Olympic Games London 2012, finishing fifth. That same year, he won his first World Cup event in Abbotsford (Canada) and finished the season ranked third in the world. After missing out on a place in the Rio 2016 Olympic final by mere centimetres, Van Gendt won his second World Cup event in 2017 before clinching the 2019 world title.
Since finishing fifth as part of the Swiss quartet in the combined mixed team event at the YOG Singapore 2010, Linda Indergand has found success on both road and mountain bikes. In addition to several Swiss national titles, she finished eighth in the mountain bike event at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and was crowned world champion in the cross-country eliminator (XCE) in both 2015 and 2016. She also claimed silver in the same event in 2014.
Magnus Cort Nielsen
Denmark’s Magnus Cort competed in the combined mixed team event at the YOG Singapore 2010, finishing seventh alongside compatriots Mette Jepsen, Michael Andersen and Niklas Laustsen Laustsen. Since then, he has established himself in the professional road cycling ranks, winning two stages of the 2016 Vuelta a España – his first Grand Tour event. Two years later, he made his debut in the Tour de France and led a breakaway on stage 15, attacking the front with 8km to go and holding off Bauke Mollema and Ion Izagirre in the final sprint to claim the stage victory.
Yoshitaku Nagasako was part of the Japanese quartet that finished 16th in the combined mixed team event at the YOG Singapore 2010 and has since gone on to enjoy success on the senior stage. As well as competing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and finishing seventh at the 2013 World Championships, Nagasako claimed gold at the 2018 Asian Games.