Ask anyone connected to cycling around Atlanta, Georgia if they are familiar with Artem Shmidt and you’ll get a resounding ‘yes’. He’s been a staple of the junior criterium and road scene since he was barely a teenager.
In 2016 as a 12-year-old, he won US amateur road titles on the road, time trial and criterium, as well as Southern spotlight races for juniors at the Sunny King Criterium and Georgia Cycling Grand Prix. By the time he was 15, he was competing in 50 or more races each year for Mission Devo Cycling/NGCA p/b Tyler Perry Studios, and even found 30 local events to race during the summer of COVID-19.
By 2021 the slender southerner was pounding pedal strokes on pavement for Hot Tubes Development and looked for every opportunity to compete, finishing third in the road race at US men’s junior nationals and just off the podium in the time trial, and was scoring top 10s in the category 1 ranks at established races at Intelligentsia Cup outside Chicago, finishing just behind veterans like Ty Magner and Tyler Williams of L39ION of Los Angeles. He was third overall at the Junior Vuelta and won the best young rider classification.
His final races as a junior came in 2022 at the UCI Road World Championships in Scotland, where he rode a majority of the junior road race in the breakaway and finished fifth. In the men’s junior time trial he was sixth, making him the top US finisher in both events.
In 2023 Shmidt signed with Hagens Berman Axeon, team owner and director Axel Merckx said he hoped to keep the young US rider around for a few years. “Not only is he a great rider and athlete, but he has a great personality. He’s probably one of the best American riders out there right now and we’ll continue the journey and development of cycling in the US together.”
In his first season with the US-based development team, Shmidt earned a pair of silver medals, ITT and road race, at the US Junior National Championships in Roanoke, Virginia. He had podiums in Europe and rode in the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium when he was home in Georgia in April, taking fifth place from the 117 starters stacked with crit specialists.
Cyclingnews caught up with the global jet-setting U23 rider, as he gets set for a second season at the Continental level with Hagens Berman-Jayco.
Cyclingnews: You grew up in Cumming, Georgia in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain. Tell us how you got into racing bikes.
Artem Shmidt: That’s right, I spent most of…