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".
It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the news that 17-year-old Magnus White has passed away in a training accident.
— USA Cycling (@usacycling) July 30, 2023
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."
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.
"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 joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.