Norway suddenly produced another cycling champion this week, but it wasn’t as much of a surprise as its first gold medal at the cycling world championships going on in Australia. Søren Wærenskjold was already known as one of the world’s most promising riders under age 23.
Wærenskjold’s victory in the U23 event produced another gold medal for Norway while cyclists from much bigger cycling nations like the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the US went home empty-handed. Tobias Foss had ridden much faster than any of his rivals in an earlier tempo cycling event (in which riders cycle alone against the clock), and then Wærenskjold did the same in his event.
“It’s fantastic,” Kai Lexberg, leader of the national team, told newspaper Aftenposten. “We’re going around smiling and not quite sure what we should do, while at the same time concentrating on the next event all the time.”
The victories add to Norway’s growing list of international sports stars who aren’t skiers or skaters, like Casper Ruud in tennis, Erling Braut Haaland in football, Jakob Ingebrigtsen in track and field and Viktor Hovland in golf. TV2 sports commentator Magnus Drivenes linked it all to “lots of hard work over many years to develop Norwegian talent.” He also gave credit to sponsors that have offered financial support.