USA Cycling deeply saddened by the loss of Carla Swart

Carla taking one of her 19 collegiate national titles.
Carla taking one of her 19 collegiate national titles.
Colorado Springs, Colo. (January 19, 2011) --
USA Cycling would like to extend its deepest condolences to the friends and family of collegiate cycling champion, Carla Swart, who was killed during a training ride on Wednesday.

According to reports, the 23-year-old Swart was hit by a truck while riding in the central Free State province of her native South Africa.

Swart moved with her family to the United States as a teenager and earned both cycling and running scholarships to North Carolina’s Lees-McRae College.

From there, she earned a total of 19 national titles to become the most decorated rider in U.S. collegiate cycling history. She was also the first athlete to win national titles across all four disciplines of collegiate cycling in one year.

Last year saw the talented, young rider win the “Best Young Rider” award at the Tour de L’Aude stage race in France. She planned to continue her career in the pro ranks in 2011, having just signed a full-time pro contract with HTC-Highroad.

“We were terribly sorry to learn today of Carla Swart’s tragic passing and we extend our most sincere condolences to Carla’s family, friends and teammates,” said Steve Johnson, USA Cycling CEO. “Words fail me at times like this, but I do know the world has lost a wonderful spirit and that she will be sorely missed. It is tragic and extremely sad when anyone’s life is cut short but particularly so when it is someone we know and with whom we shared her and her teammates’ success and joy at Collegiate Nationals.”

“Carla will be missed dearly by the collegiate cycling community,” said USA Cycling Collegiate Program Manager, Jeffrey Hansen. “Her talent and friendship will not be forgotten. She had an incredible impact on our sport.”

HTC-Highroad posted the following message on their team site: “Carla, in such a short time you became part of our family and touched us all with your vibrant personality and your constant smile. You infected us with your zest for life and we will forever have you in our hearts.”

The Carla Swart Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a female cyclist who demonstrates a love for the sport and exhibits great promise as a cyclist. Checks should be made out to Lees-McRae College (note Carla Swart Scholarship in the memo line) and mailed to the Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 128, Banner Elk, NC 28604. With questions about the scholarship, please contact Caroline Hart, vice president for advancement, at (828) 898-8777.

Related: Nature Valley Grand Prix establishes Swart Sportsmanship Award

This Article Published January 19, 2011 For more information contact: