Mongolian cyclist B.Tegshbayar won a gold medal in the Scratch Race of the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) Junior Track Cycling World Championships, held in Aigle, Switzerland, from July 20 to 24.

This was the first time that a Mongolian athlete took part in the event and claimed the rainbow jersey, a distinctive jersey worn by the reigning champion since 1927.

The UCI reported that it was also an achievement for the UCI World Cycling Center (UCI WCC), because B.Tegshbayar has been training at the center since April.

After qualifying for the final on the afternoon of July 21, the young International Sports Master unleashed his speed and skill in the evening, striking out ahead with eight laps to go and racing to gold, the UCI underlined.

After his victory, B.Tegshbayar commented, “I am so happy. I dreamed of the rainbow jersey and now I am wearing one. This is a new chapter for Mongolia. I have been at the UCI World Cycling Center since April and the training has been very good. It has helped me.”

Silver and bronze medals went to Daniel Babor from the Czech Republic and Moreno Marchettifrom Italy.

“Mongolia has no history of track riding, and B.Tegshbayar was a complete novice to the discipline,” explainsthe UCIWCChigh performance manager Belinda Tarling. “In the five months since he arrived in Switzerland, our track coach has worked on both the technical and physical aspects of his training. He is a quick and motivated learner who showed he has the talent to compete with, and beat, the best riders of his age in the world.”

The following is an interview with B.Tegshbayar.

Congratulations on becoming the first cyclist to bring the world champion’s title to Mongolia.

Thank you. I am very happy. I have been training in Switzerland since April to compete in this tournament. I have succeeded, however, I haven’t trained in scratch race category for a long time. The tournament was very competitive because top cyclists of the world participated in the tournament.

“My dream came true after I came to the finish line. I remembered my late father at that moment. I wished that he was alive to see me finish first”

You came to the finish line way ahead of the rest. What were you thinking at that moment?

I had my own tactic and I used it. You can see from the video of the tournament. My dream came true after I came to the finish line. I remembered my late father at that moment. I wished that he was alive to see me finish first.

Why did you choose to train in the cycling sport?

I am from Asgat soum of Sukhbaatar Province. My grandmother bought me a bicycle when I was three years old.Imade friends using that bicycle at the time. My brother and sister used to ride my bicycle a lot. My parents used to get me a new bicycle every year. I like to ride a bicycle. I think being a cyclist was my destiny.

I competed in the cycling championship of Sukhbaatar Province in 2011. Physical training teacher T.Arslan prepared me for the tournament. I won that tournament and became a province champion.

Afterwards, I met with coach of the Physical Training and Sports Department of  Sukhbaatar Province, International Sports Master S.Tumurkhuyag, and asked to join a cycling club. That’s how I started intensively training in the cycling sport.

What did coach S.Tumurkhuyag tell you?

Coach asked, “Can you become a state cycling champion?” I responded, “Yes. I can.” Coach S.Tumurkhuyag gave me a training outfit. Then I started preparing for the StateCyclingChampionship. I won three gold and one silver medalsfrom the 2014 State Cycling Championship.

The 60th anniversary of the cycling sport in Mongolia will be held this year. Your victory is a huge present for the 60th anniversary.

I am very happy that I came to Switzerland to train. The Mongolian National Olympic Committee and Mongolian Cycling Federation helped me a lot too. I want to express my gratitude to all of you.