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Community mourns loss of USA Cycling athlete, 17, from Boulder

Magnus White, 17, was fatally struck by a driver in Boulder while training for an upcoming race.
Magnus White
Posted at 6:43 AM, Aug 01, 2023

BOULDER, Colo. — People in Boulder and beyond are mourning the loss of a young cyclist who was fatally struck by a driver over the weekend.

Magnus White, 17, was killed near Highway 119 and North 63rd Street in his hometown of Boulder Saturday afternoon while training for the Junior Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships.

Colorado State Patrol investigators believe the driver — only identified as a 23-year-old woman from Westminster — drifted over to the shoulder of road and hit the back of White's bike. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Drugs, alcohol or speeding are not believed to be factors in the crash, according to CSP. The incident is still under investigation. No arrests have been made as of this article's publication.

White began cycling through Boulder Junior Cycling and quickly rose in the ranks of off-road cycling competitions, according to USA Cycling. He won the 2021 Junior 17-18 Cyclocross National Championships and competed with the USA Cycling National Team for a season of European Cyclocross racing. He ended the year at the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championship in Arkansas, the organization said.

White represented his community and country at another Cyclocross World Championships in January 2023, USA Cycling said.

This summer, he was working toward a new adventure after earning a spot on the Mountain Bike World Championships team. He was about to compete in the Junior Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships on August 10 in Glasgow, Scotland. The 17-year-old was on a final training ride when he was killed.

White was set to start his senior year of high school, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser that was created to support his family.

Magnus White

White is survived by his parents, Michael and Jill, and his brother, Eero. In a statement, the family said he had "an amazing smile that always lit up the room."

"Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the tragic loss of our beloved son, Magnus White. We've received an overwhelming outpouring of support from friends, colleagues, and the cycling community, for which we are incredibly grateful. We are now realizing the incredible reach he had across the world. Magnus was dedicated to his family and friends and loved to surround them with laughter. He had an amazing smile that always lit up the room, bringing joy to those around him. Magnus's passion for cycling started at age 2 with his first strider bike and started racing at the young age of 8.

He was an incredibly self-motivated cyclist who was just reaching his potential.

Our pride for Magnus goes beyond his accomplishments as a cyclist and student. He held his character and determination to the highest of standards, which he carried through everything he did in life. He touched the lives of so many people and in time, we will find a way to honor his legacy."

Michael Robson, a senior coach at Boulder Junior Cycling, said White was an intuitive and ambitious cyclist, who continually advanced and improved within his sport.

"When he was in bike races, he was incredibly calm. And everything he did was incredibly smooth and graceful, and he just had a super high skill level. But he was also incredibly friendly," said Robson. “He was a really great role model for the other kids.”

Robson said the entire cycling community is crushed by the loss.

“It’s not fair, and it was too soon," said Robson. "This has been so hard. It’s really hard to watch the children suffer... Everyone’s really struggling. We just have an immense sense of loss.”

"We knew of him through the cycling community," said Laura Spaulding, who visited Magnus' memorial with her daughter, Sophie, to leave flowers on Monday. "We have a lot of friends that were very close to him."

Both said they are cyclists themselves and are incredibly saddened by this loss.

"It’s a huge loss for the community. It's tragic, it's hard for everyone. We had a hard weekend," Laura said. "Our hearts go out to his family and coaches and teammates and friends. It's just too tragic."