Race Day turned memorial day: Instead of watching their son compete at Worlds, Magnus White's parents ride in his memory

The 17-year-old American talent was killed in a training ride just days before heading to Scotland

Magnus White
(Image credit: Penultimate Stage)

Today was meant to be an exciting day for 17-year-old Magnus White and his parents. A rising star in the off-road cycling scene, the teen was chosen to represent Team USA at the Junior Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. By all accounts, White was ready. There may have been some nerves but there shouldn't have been any tears — not the sad, unconsolable kind anyway. 

But White never got the chance to feel those pre-race jitters, to tie the World Championship race number to his bars, or to test himself against the world's best. On July 30, White was out on a training ride, putting in his final preparations before leaving for Glasgow, when he was struck and killed by a driver near his home in Boulder, Colorado.

So instead of watching their teen compete on the world's stage, White's family rode their bikes to his memorial. "He would've wanted that," the family said.

On Thursday, the day that was marked on the calendar as 'Race Day', the family addressed the media in a statement, remembering their son and calling for any witnesses of the crash to come forward and contact the police. 

"Today, our son Magnus was supposed to be representing the USA while racing the Mountain Bike World  Championships in Scotland. Instead, we are addressing you because Magnus was struck and killed by a driver while training for that race. He was proudly wearing his Team USA jersey when he died," the statement reads.

"Magnus found his passion early in life and was fully dedicated to it. He never sought a shortcut, and did the work necessary to achieve every audacious goal he set for himself. Though our grief feels unbearable, we will carry on because Magnus would expect nothing less. To quote his favorite childhood book when he was younger, 'We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. We’ve got to go through it.'

"Magnus was a gift to us and the universe will never explain why he was taken from us... We do not yet know why Magnus was killed while riding his bike on a designated bike route, on a straight road with a wide shoulder, in broad daylight."

The family shared that the investigation into White's death is ongoing and encouraged any witnesses to contact the Colorado State Police at 303.239.4501, using reference case number #1D232999.

White was an up-and-coming star in cyclocross and cross-country mountain bike racing. He was a junior national cyclocross champion and member of the national selection at the 2022 and 2023 UCI World Cyclocross Championships. This 2023 season saw him compete at the international stage in cross-country mountain biking as well, earning himself a spot on the Team USA mountain bike team for the Glasgow World Championships. 

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.