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).