Road to Paris: Youngest-Ever World Tour Victor Cyclist to Pose a Threat to Team USA at the Olympics

Published 02/07/2024, 9:00 AM EST

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Some fortunate athletes taste success quite early in their careers. With the Paris Olympics 2024 nearing, the Trials have already glided in. Recently, we got our top finishers at the US Marathon Trials, who are now girding up for the road to Paris. But shifting our focus from the US team, other nations are also unwilling to give up on their chances. Among them, New Zealand is one such which has icons emerging and suffice it to say, they’ll be giving swift competition to the perpetual winning streak of Team USA.

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Holding the distinction of being the youngest evert tour cyclist, the 21-year-old hailing from New Zealand, had bagged two gold medals at the UCI Junior World Championships at just 17. 4 years later, after his Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race win, the youngest New Zealander has issued a rare challenge to his US rivals.

Shiver me timbers is the tagline of Laurence Pithie enroute the road to Paris

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Vying for the coveted National Jersey, Laurence Pithie is stepping foot on in The Elite Road National Championship, scheduled for 8-10 February. The premier national road cycling event will be a warm-up of a kind before the official Olympic Trials. Amateur and professional cyclists of all echelons of social strata can compete in the same category where proficiency is no bar. New Zealand’s Olympic road cycling team has two spots secured for the most eligible cyclists. Inarguably, the 21-year-old has a fair chance of grabbing one of them.

The elated Pithie has said, “It’s every kid’s dream to go to the Olympics and it was always my dream growing up doing sports. You never know with selection, but if I keep achieving and doing the work, it should happen naturally, I hope.Taking the pole position in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and earning the World Tour victory wasn’t all. He added another star to his hat by standing as the youngest one in history to have won this. Fresh off a disappointing loss, his path-breaking Cadel Evans win was a lesson coming to fruition.

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Laurence Pithie believes that ‘patience is the key’

In a close finish, Pithie shifted his worthiest rival, Natnael Tesfatsion, to the second. Some riders were aiming for solo breakaways, while some went in groups. In the final selection, unsure of where he’ll land, Pithie took a chance to beat the top picks of the race. After nabbing victory, he said, I got stuck about one kilometre to go, stuck behind. I knew I had to be patient. We spoke in the briefing this morning, patience was going to be key”. 

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The most notable win of his career came in the 2021 Baltic Chain Tour, where the 21-year-old claimed silver in every stage. Therefore, his consistent winning streak was accoladed when he walked home with the overall gold. With years left to add to his burgeoning repertoire, his immediate goal is to smash records enroute the road to Paris.

Watch this story:  Unwrapping Four Essential Facts About Indoor Cycling

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Written by:

Agnijeeta Majumder

648Articles

One take at a time

With a passion for sports and an active lifestyle, I delved into the world of journalism and here I am creating insights on various avenues of the sporting realm. In my school years, I could often be found loitering about with a throw ball in hand or maybe engaging in a tough bout. My active participation in both traditional sports and hiking escapades has considerably shaped my mind and its thoughts.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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