Six elite athletes from the South West will soon reach a new stage in their sporting careers.
Declan O’Connor (Collie), Jaxon Sawyer (Dalyellup), Roly Kyme (Margaret River), Gus Kyme (Margaret River), Logan Wakeling (Australind), and Caelin Stuart (Ferguson Valley) have been selected for the 2018 Western Australia Junior Downhill Mountain Bike team.
The squad will compete in the national championships in Bright, Victoria from March 2 to 4.
Riders will participate in a Gravity event – a three-to-five-minute time trial running from a point at the top of a hill to one at the bottom.
Around 300 competitors from across Australia are expected to take part.
Wakeling said the riders felt pride in representing their state.
“We’re looking forward to racing on the tracks over there,” he said.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling to go riding on behalf of your state.”
The riders were picked for the squad based on their results in state competitions.
Sawyer said the sport provided a fun and exciting escape.
“It is really challenging...I like to push myself to get faster and better,” he said.
“It’s good fun and it gets you away from civilization for a bit.”
The team completed two scheduled training sessions and learned to work together as a unit prior to competition.
WA State Junior Downhill Coach Dean Davies and Head Junior State Coach Mark Wardle will head over to Victoria with the squad.
“I think it’s a really great thing for them...they can tell other children and their classmates that they have represented the state,” Mr Wardle said.
“This program is really important for giving them that opportunity.”
Mr Davies said the riders were focused on beating their personal bests and enjoying the experience.
A team of 12 WA riders recently travelled to Armidale, New South Wales to compete in the Cross Country national championships on February 24 and 25.
Head to mtba.asn.au to track both teams’ results.