Alex Willie’s road to the 2012 Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang-Saalfelden, Austria, just got a lot smoother. The 17-year-old cyclist, who was profiled in the May 31 issue of Boulder Weekly, has just been named to the elite United States World Cup Cycling Team as a downhill racer.
“I’m pretty stoked,” says Willie. “A lot of pressure has been lifted.”
As a member of the team, Willie isn’t a lock for the group of Americans who will represent the USA at the World Championships this August, but he says that a trip to Austria is starting to look inevitable.
“I now just need to focus on having fun,” he says. “I race a lot better when I’m just having fun. I just need to ride my bike.”
Based on his year-to-date results, which include consistent top-10 finishes in races across North America, Willie is one of the young, up-and-coming talents in the cycling world. His recent inclusion on the U.S. team points to the fact that even if he isn’t selected to compete at the World Championships this year, a future bid won’t be long in coming.