By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — A trio of Wisconsin Rapids’ finest will travel to South Carolina to take part in the BMX World Championships this summer.
This is the first Union Cyclist Nationale (UCI) BMX Championships held within the United States since 2001, and the river cities is making sure they’re well represented. Team USA can send 32 qualified riders per age group, and they’ll be competing with over 3,000 riders from over 40 different countries.
On March 31, riders from the Central Wisconsin BMX track traveled to Rock Hill, S.C. for the second of four national qualifying races, and with winning results.
Representing Team USA will be 9-year-old Brody Gilbertson, 13-year-old Trinadee Stoflet, and 17-year-old Skylar Schaetz. The three raced against up to 50 other riders, finishing in the top eight riders for their age group.
Stoflet has been racing since she was eight, and in her mind, the sky’s the limit when asked how far she wants to take her career.
“I plan on going all the way to the Olympics” said Stoflet, who placed second and third in competitions. “Since the summer is coming up I’m going to step up my game — I train two hours on the bike and two hours off the bike.”
While young, the trio carries no shortage of confidence. Schaetz has been a state champion nine times now in her short career and will soon hit the gym to continue training for the competition.
“I won the qualifying rounds, so I’m confident,” said Schaetz. “I’m not sure how I’ll do against other countries but I’m pretty confident.”
For Gilbertson, it’s his determination that set him apart from the pack during competition.
“His determination and drive is unbelievable,” said father Jay Gilbertson. “He does this all on his own — thing is his thing he wants to do.”
The three racers will hit Rock Hill, S.C. from July 25-30 at the Novant Health BMX track.
“Thanks to everyone who supports me and driving long hours to get me to different races every weekend,” said Stoflet. “Big thanks to my Mom and Dad for putting so much money into this.”