Racing to great heights

July 2, 2020 BY

Ocean Grove’s Xavier Williams placed third in his first Victorian Downhill Series, competing as a 13-year-old in the U15 category. PIC: HOWLER PHOTOGRAPHIC

XAVIER Williams might only be 13 but it hasn’t stopped him riding in the U15 age division and placing third in the Victorian Downhill Series (VDHS) competition.
The 2019/2020 series was held over three rounds between November and February, with two rounds cancelled due to bushfires and the coronavirus, resulting in Xavier’s third place.
“This was his first season of the VDHS, and even though it was cut short he still managed to place out of about 60 competitors,” dad Brad said.
“The first round was in Barjarg (near Mansfield), round two was in Narbethong, and round three took place in Baw Baw. The Mt Buller and Mt Beauty rounds were cancelled.”
For the Williams family, riding is something they enjoy together with regular outings for Xavier to get practice in.
“We try as much as we can to all get out there and ride, Xavier’s sister Tatum who’s 10 wants to ride as well and race a series. She rides the trials and spends the day out on the lift
with us.”
During competition Mr Williams said his son is pretty relaxed, listening to music between rounds, sitting quietly and just “zones himself out”.
“He’s in Year 8 at Bellarine Secondary College and started racing BMX in Geelong when he was about six, this was his first year in the competitive mountain bike realm.”
For Xav, riding’s more than just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle; and he’s got big ambitions for the future.
“I love riding, the atmosphere of the spectators and other riders cheering you down the course, along with the adrenaline of riding fast down steep technical tracks, it’s awesome,” he said. “Everyone involved with downhill racing is really supportive and give you lots of advice. It’s my dream to race the World Cup series, as well as compete in big free ride events like Brendan Fairclough does.”
And for proud Brad, he said his son was really excited to have received a place in his first year.
“Part of his ability is to pick the lines and ride off drops, jumps and obstacles I wouldn’t even walk down, let alone try to ride a bike down.
“This is Xav’s passion and he lives and breathes for it. He’s starting to make a name for himself and building a profile.
“The two rounds being cancelled was disappointing for him but he’s really looking forward to the next series and hopefully he can do it again next year.”

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