World Cup bid by Denholm downhill race ace

Denholm dowhiller William Brodie is about to realise one of the dreams of his two-wheeled sporting career.

William Brodie shows off his skills at the new Hawick pump track (picture by Bill McBurnie)
William Brodie shows off his skills at the new Hawick pump track (picture by Bill McBurnie)

The 17-year-old is in Austria for a UCI World Cup downhill race event, for which qualifying begins tomorrow.

It has long been among William’s ambitions to cycle in the world cup, and he was equally thrilled to receive the British jersey enabling him to take part.

The young Borderer, racing in the junior boys’ category, is part of a six-man British team competing against a large field of the best young riders from around the world. Qualification for Saturday’s finals is a tall order, with a place in the top 25 being the required criteria.

Afterwards, William will be on more cycle-related duty in Italy, then it’s on to France for another UCI World Cup downhill contest. All the travelling arrangements and entry into the countries are governed by strict Covid-19 monitoring and quarantine rules.

William’s mum Georgina said: “He has worked really hard to get through the British and Scottish national championships and work his way up. This has kind of been his dream all along – to ride in the world cup events – but he was delighted to get the British jersey.”

William recently left Jedburgh Grammar School and began a course in sport and development at Borders College’s academy of sporting excellence in Galashiels.

UK selectors had been charting his competitive progress in 2018 and 2019, with virtually all racing last year abandoned because of coronavirus. He was consistently at or near the top in Scotland and the UK during those years, earning him his step up.

William and another accomplished champion mountain bike rider from Denholm, Phoebe Gale, were recently asked to be ambassadors at the opening in Hawick of a new pump track designed by Velosolutions.

Such facilities generally consist of a looped sequence of rollers and swooping, banked turns designed to maximise the rider’s momentum through body movements rather than pedalling or pushing.

Phoebe and William, both well known locally, were invited along to give the occasion more prestige and hopefully attract some new enthusiasts.