Eighteen-year-old Reece Wilson, who took up cycling to recover from leg surgery, was crowned British Downhill Mountain Biking Junior Men’s Champion at the weekend.
His first downhill race was at Innerleithen in the summer of 2012, which he won, and now, two years later, in his first year of competing on the big stage, the lad from Gordon has a national championship under his belt and a 10th place finish in the World Downhill Series.
As part of his post surgery recovery, Reece did some cross-country cycling and downhill riding at Glentress and it was soon apparent that he excelled in downhill racing.
He won his first race in the Mini Downhill Series at Innerleithen, and won overall in August 2012.
Reece’s potential was soon spotted and he competed in the Scottish Downhill championship series with help and advice from Stow’s Ruaridh Cunningham, former World Men’s Junior Champion. And his riding went up another notch when he completed the Base Downhill course at Borders College.
This year, Reece competed in four of the five British Downhill Series races and after chalking up two wins, one second and one third place he was crowned champion at the last round on Sunday at the Bike Park in Cardiff.
While competing in the British series, Reece applied to British Cycling for consideration to be selected to compete at world level and has since been making a name for himself on the world stage, competing in five out of seven World Championship events in France, Canada, Austria, Scotland and the USA. His authorisation to compete came too late for him to take part in the first two events of the World Downhill Series, but in his first season Reece had two seventh place finishes, a 14th and a 10th.
Britain’s double world champion Gee Atherton is campaigning for downhill mountainbiking to be included in the Winter Olympics.
International Olympic Committee rules state only sports held on snow or ice can be part of these games, but the issue of which sports should be included is currently under review and it’s not out of the question that one day Reece could be competing for an Olympic medal.
Local support for Reece has come from Anderson and Wilson Engineering, CMG Engineering, Alpine Bikes, Base Downhill Course, Borders College, Hardies Bikes, One Industries, family and friends.