IN six short years hills teenager Bailey Christie rose from rookie status to an elite mountain biker, now bound for the US next month to compete on the world stage.
The 18-year-old is racing in the Enduro World Series, the highest level of timed mountain bike racing including the most physically and technically challenging trails in the world.
As Bailey gears up to ride against the best of the best, he said his humble introduction to the sport at age 12 was all thanks to a friend.
“My mate Michael Willock introduced me to mountain biking when I borrowed one of his bikes,” he said.
“I then purchased my first bike which was from Toys-R-US and things skyrocketed from there, after a year of riding I got into racing at some local cross-country rounds.”
Bailey took out first place in the under 21 category at the overall Enduro World Series Qualifier Event held in Queensland recently, securing his spot to compete in America and prompting him to up the ante on his training program.
Living and growing up in Orange Grove has meant access to trails for the young sportsman has never been further than his backyard.
“I spend most of my training at my local trails,” Bailey said.
“I have a great network of trails out the back of my house ranging from easy cross-country trails to fast and steep enduro/downhill trails.”
While there is nothing like riding at home and around Australia, competing internationally represents a significant milestone in Bailey’s sporting career.
“This will be my first time competing out of Australia and I am super keen for it.”
Bailey’s first event in the Enduro World Series will be at Burke, Vermont from August 12 to 14 followed by the second round at Sugarloaf, Maine from August 19 to 21.
By Morgan de Smidt