Home Sports Reece Wilson: Downhill World Champion says he loves life 'on the limit'

Reece Wilson: Downhill World Champion says he loves life ‘on the limit’

“I like to check it to rugby,” Wilson tells CNN Sport. “If you exchange all the individuals in a rugby discipline with metallic poles or bushes and requested all people to run as quick as they may, I feel not many individuals would wish to do it.”

But being on the similar course would not make any distinction to the 25-year-old.

“You have to show off and deal with it like a brand new monitor and begin afresh,” he says.

“For me, it is a new yr. It’s a brand new begin. We have a brand new bike. There’s a number of new issues occurring. So a very new mindset, and also you simply begin once more from the place you might be this yr.”

In addition to Leogang, there are 4 different world stops on the circuit, together with Les Gets, France, which encompasses a new, never-ridden-before monitor.
Throughout these 5 occasions, every rider will attempt to acquire as many factors as potential to be topped the Overall downhill world cup winner.
Beside downhill, the Mountain Bike World Cup additionally has different disciplines, together with cross country and four-cross.
The World Cup season additionally encompasses a World Championships occasion, a one-off race which this yr will happen in Val del Sole, Italy.

Motocross at six

Wilson has been hooked on adrenaline for so long as he can bear in mind.

He began motocross (off-road motorbike racing) at the age of six and has at all times liked “going that quick and being so near the floor and so near hazard.”

But when he began seeing all his pals leaving college early and going to compete at the European stage, he began doubting that motocross was the proper sport for him.

Seven years in the past, a good friend launched him to downhill mountain biking, and simply two years later, he grew to become the British downhill champion.

“After that, I form of thought, wow!” says Wilson. “This is possibly what I used to be meant to do. So I once more simply jumped each toes into that … I simply put my head down and completely attacked driving mountain bikes.”

Within three years, Wilson says he went from by no means having ridden a downhill bike to being one in every of the high 25 riders in the world.

Wilson performing at UCI DH World Championships in Leogang on October 11, 2020.

Seeing rainbows

Heading into 2020, Wilson had solely positioned in the high ten as soon as, however on the ultimate day of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, he jumped straight to the high of the podium, conquering the Leogang monitor in simply three minutes and 51 seconds — three seconds quicker than second place.

“Going from that type of place to profitable standing was like a little bit of a shock for me,” he admits. “And I feel all people in the business was a little bit of a like, ‘Well, the place did Reece come from?'”

However, Wilson says he did not really feel an excessive amount of stress from sporting the rainbow jersey — indicating a reigning UCI world champion: “At the finish of the day, it is simply the jersey for a race the place I’ve completed properly final yr. It would not actually maintain any water on the place I’m at the second and the place I ought to technically be, simply based mostly on what my jersey colours are.”

Mindset is essential to success

In mountain biking, emotional coaching is maybe extra vital than bodily coaching, in response to Wilson.

“You could be as large and as robust as you need if you do not have it collectively mentally to stay round, it isn’t going to give you the results you want,” he says.

“I feel I calculated a number of years in the past that our time spent truly competing and racing in a whole yr was solely 32 minutes,” Wilson continues.

“So, when your complete profession is counting on 32 minutes of efficiency and you’ll’t keep in mind punctures or crashes — and very often for us, the danger is so unbelievably excessive — you should get your self in a mindset to concentrate on what you are doing and never make a single mistake for less than 32 minutes of the yr.”

The hours, days and weeks spent coaching for the World Cup are perilous at instances, not least the omnipresent hazard of hitting a tree at speeds of as much as 50 kph (31 mph).

In his profession, Wilson has had each knee and shoulder reconstructions and has additionally dislocated his hip.

“I’d prefer to suppose I’ve realized from these errors,” he explains. “After that, I at all times give myself a number of time to remain in the gymnasium, keep actually robust. And if I do choose up an harm, take the time to rehab and ensure you’re robust while you come again.”

The way forward for downhill

While downhill mountain biking will not be acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee, cross country mountain biking has been an Olympic sport since 1996. Wilson believes that his self-discipline would not get the recognition it deserves and thinks that it ought to be at the Games as properly.

“I feel it [being at the Olympics] would make our sport prestigious similar to the relaxation,” he says.

“It appears to be a bit in the background, however the psychological capability and the way a lot coaching we do and what’s required to carry out at this stage, in my view, is simply as excessive, if not larger, than another type of biking. So it undoubtedly deserves to be up there.”

Wilson additionally needs to be a job mannequin in inspiring youngsters and their households to maintain supporting their youngsters’s desires “as this life’s all about ardour.”

“My dad and mom have helped me a lot and my two sisters as properly,” he continues.

“Whatever we might love to do in the world, if they’ll sacrifice to get us to have the ability to try this, they are going to do it. Whatever my dad and mom have completed, I might love different dad and mom to do round the world, and I feel that will be improbable.

“I might advise all people to observe their desires. If you dream at evening that you possibly can do it, go forward as a result of likelihood is you may.”

Wilson celebrates his world downhill title last October.
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup begins on Friday June 11 and it’s broadcast dwell and globally on Red Bull TV.
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