Key Year 2024

2024 holds crucial importance for the KMC Ridley MTB Racing Team for several reasons. There are the UCI World Series taking us to three different continents, and the World Championships in Andorra. With the Olympic Games in Paris, the major goal marked in red on the calendar for three years, participation is deemed significant, but in sports, nothing is impossible. Nonetheless, the riders will give their all to be present at Elancourt Hill and make the most of this challenge.

The Team

The team consists of 7 riders aged between 18 and 34. Ukrainian Yana Belomoina has been in the game the longest, while Martins Blums is poised to become the first Latvian to participate in the Olympic mountain biking event. For Yana and Oleksandr 'Sacha' Hudyma, it's a challenging time as their homeland Ukraine is in conflict, yet they hold sporting ambitions and aim to perform their best for their country.

Gunnar Holmgren comes from a particularly athletic family, with two well-known sisters who also cycle. The team is further complemented by Dutch rider Lotte Koopmans, who balances her role as an emergency room physician with her sport, a unique combination.

Rens Teunissen van Manen and Freek Bouten are the two youngest riders on the team. Both talents harbor ambitions for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


The path to Paris runs through various qualifications. This period started in the spring of 2022 and ends on May 26, 2024. UCI points of the top three riders from each country are tallied, forming a national ranking. The top eight countries receive two spots, the next eleven receive one, and the host country receives one (unless already among the top eight, in which case the spot goes to the twentieth-ranked country). The IOC also has one wildcard to award, while the remaining spots are distributed through continental championships and the World Championships. Accumulating points is crucial this year towards securing a spot for the Games.

Bart Brentjens

The team's patron is Bart Brentjens, a man with a special connection to the Olympic Games. In 1996, this discipline was included in Atlanta for the first time. Brentjens rode to a gold medal, etching his name in history. Eight years later, he secured bronze in Athens. Now, he supports his riders in their quest for medals in Paris.

To achieve great goals, you need each other

Yana & Martins

During this pivotal year of 2024, we will closely follow two riders. Yana Belomoina aims for her fourth Olympic appearance, but the former World Cup winner must navigate the ongoing conflict in her homeland of Ukraine. Martins Blums is set to become the very first Latvian to compete in the Olympic mountain biking event.

Yana Belomoina

Ukrainian Yana Belomoina (31) became her country's first UCI XCO World Cup race winner in 2017, also clinching the overall victory that same year. She has been at the top for years, highlighted by a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships. After battling injuries for a few years, she has returned to her peak form. The Paris Games will mark her fourth appearance; previously, she participated in London (13th), Rio (9th), and Tokyo (8th).

Martins Blums

Martins Blums currently ranks 10th in the world. Last year, he placed 6th in the XCC World Championships in Glasgow, followed by an 11th place in the cross-country event. At 28, he hopes to start reaping the rewards. In the under-23 category, he won two World Cup races and the Overall World Cup XCO, a feat he aspires to replicate among the pros.

Vier renners naar de Spelen

Four riders from the KMC Ridley MTB Team will compete in the Olympic Games this summer. Yana Belomoina, Oleksandr Hudyma (both from Ukraine), Gunnar Holmgren (Canada), and Martins Blums (Latvia) have all qualified! The MTB events will take place on June 28 and 29.

Engels: Gunnar shines in Czech Republic

Gunnar Holmgren shines at the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and finishes eighth in the Cross-country Olympic. This also secures his spot for the Olympic Games.

Start of World Cup

The first leg of the World Cup takes place in Mairiporã, Brazil. Oleksandr Hudyma achieves 7th place in the short circuit race in the under-23 category, while Martins Blums finishes 11th in the same race.

Successful Spring

Continuing their positive trend, KMC Ridley secures 2nd place for Yana Belomoina and Janika Lõiv in the Tankwa Trek. Heading towards the first World Cup race, Oleksandr Hudyma also clinches a significant victory in the Aydin MTB Cup, while Lotte Koopmans wins the Watersley XCO Challenge in her home country.

First Victory of the Season

After a successful training camp in South Africa, Janika Lõiv secures the first victory of the season. The Estonian rider wins the Costa Blanca Bike Race, setting the tone for a promising start to the season.

Team Presentation

KMC Ridley is officially introduced to the press and the public. Following their collaboration in 2023, Ridley becomes the title sponsor of the team. The team presentation takes place in a 'French atmosphere' in Schaijk, the village that brought home the first Olympic mountain bike medal in 1996. It's evident that the Paris Olympics will be the highlight of the 2024 season.

Gold for Bart Brentjens

Bart Brentjens becomes the very first Olympic mountain bike champion, clinching gold in Atlanta. Eight years later, he secures a bronze medal in Athens. Today, he serves as the team manager of KMC Ridley.
Photos: Matthias Thijsen - Vamos Studios
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