BMX rider Mic Williams honed the skills which have taken him to world championships at Warrnambool’s former Queens Road track.
The Kirkstall university student spent much of his childhood tackling the dirt jumps without realising he was destined for the international stage.
But those humble beginnings were instrumental in paving the way for Williams, 20, to debut at the titles in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from July 23 to 27.
He will compete in the 17-24 years men’s section in two classes: the 20-inch standard and 24-inch cruiser. The classes are determined by wheel size.
Williams, who is based in Geelong but rides for Warrnambool BMX Club, said he was excited about testing himself against the world’s best.
He booked his ticket by reaching the semi-finals in both classes at Australian championships at Shepparton last month.
“I did want to go better. I felt I had the ability to get into the main event in both races,” he said. “In the cruiser semi-final I came off, which was a bit disappointing.
“And the 20-inch I felt like I could’ve easily been there. It was just a bit of a dumb mistake in the first turn.”
Williams, who has competed at nationals seven times but never had the cash to fund an international trip, said he hoped to reach finals.
“If I walked away making a final I’d be so happy. And obviously anything higher than that is better and better,” he said.
“But as I’ve told a couple of other people, the majority of riders over there I’ve never ridden against before. It’s tough to say how fast the competition is going to be at the moment.”
Williams grew up at Kirkstall and attended Warrnambool College before shifting to study civil engineering at Deakin University.
He developed an interest in BMX at age three through his father Ian, who took up the sport as part of his recovery from a knee injury sustained while windsurfing.
Younger sibling Matt soon followed the pair to the track. All three have competed at nationals.
“When I was a kid I didn’t really know anything different. It was our club. I haven’t been involved in another club. It seemed the norm for me,” Williams said.
“But obviously when I grew up a little bit, about the age of eight or so, my mates started playing footy and I was riding. The individual aspect really stood out for me.
“Everything you do as far as training was off your own back. You were responsible for your own results. It wasn’t necessarily a team effort.
“It meant I could go and ride whenever I wanted to, I wasn’t relying on somebody else.”