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Kirsten Wild ends her career with two medals at Track Worlds

Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands won bronze in Points race in her final UCI event and presented with flowers by UCI President David Lappartien
Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands won bronze in Points race in her final UCI event and presented with flowers by UCI President David Lappartient (Image credit: SWPix)

With multiple medals in hand, Kirsten Wild (Ceratizit-WNT) can now ride off into the sunset from competitive cycling. The Dutch sprinter completed her 17-year professional career at the UCI Track World Championships in Roubaix, France, with a bronze medal in her final event, the Points Race on Sunday.

She earned a third consecutive rainbow jersey in the women’s Madison with Amy Pieters (SD Worx) over the weekend, bringing her haul of gold medals from the Worlds to 10. Wild is a three-time world champion in the Scratch race and Madison, and a two-time champion in the Points Race and Omnium events.

“I think I've put together a decent list of honors both on the track and on the road,” the Dutch rider told Wielerflits after accepting her bronze medal in the Points race at Worlds on Sunday.

“I look back on a very beautiful time. It was a great adventure and I would recommend it to anyone, if you can handle it physically and mentally. It's just great fun to do, but it's also nice that it's over now.”

The Points Race was won by Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky with Katie Archibald of Great Britain in second. A third place for Wild was better than she expected.

“I had a difficult run-up. Let me say that this medal in the Points Race was also beyond expectations,” Wild said.

“Lotte was very strong. A third place with such a strong opponent was the highest achievable. It was strange that it was my last laps. It was the last time I rode in orange. I enjoyed it – well, enjoyed it… I mostly suffered. I think it's nice that I finish on the podium after a very nice race.”

She and Pieters have been the team to beat in the Madison for many years, so she was extremely disappointed the pair finished fourth in the first-ever Olympic Madison for women this summer, herself taken down in a crash in that event to fall out of medal contention. To end her track career with a gold in that event with Pieters was all the more special.

“I'm really happy with what we did in the [Madison]. I am very proud that I was able to win there with Amy Pieters. Actually, I saw this as dessert. Of course you hope for everything, but I think a medal is very nice to end with.”

Wild was one of many riders from Ceratizit-WNT who participated for their nations at the Tokyo Olympic Games, where she earned the bronze for the Netherlands in the Omnium on her third trip to the Games.

“What a journey this has been. Started as a ‘bonus year’ and some time off, finished with a long year of struggling against myself. Got Covid-19 and a serious back injury. At that moment I couldn't imagine being on the Olympic podium,” she posted to social media in August.

After the Olympic Games, the 38-year-old ended her road career at the Simac Ladies Tour, involved in a stage 3 crash and missing a final time to compete for a sprint victory. In her 17 years in the pro peloton, Wild amassed over 100 victories.

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Jackie Tyson

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling for people of all abilities and ages. Tyson has been recognized for communications excellence with 10 Phoenix Awards, presented by the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp - and was recognized by a national media outlet as the first female depicted in a pro baseball card set (Ft. Myers Royals). She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times. Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in  Provence (France). Her favorite mountain bike rides are in Park City, Utah (USA).