Local BMX biker Joshua Hagel is competing in the BMX racing world championships later this month in France.
Hagel will be riding against the other 131 best BMX bikers across the globe in the 14 boys category.
Hagel's journey to the world stage began about nine years ago when his dad first took him to the track.
"I just liked riding bikes. So, then my dad took me onto the track one day and I just loved it." Says Hagel.
The sport clicked with Hagel, who's been training with the help of a coach recently to prepare for the world championships.
Actually being able to compete at the world stage became a challenge in the past couple of years says Hagel, who actually qualified for worlds for the first time in 2019 by placing 7th at nationals in Toronto.
"I qualified three years ago in 2019 to go and we're going to go that year. It was in Houston in 2020, but then it got cancelled due to COVID. They then moved my qualification on to the next year. In 2021 when it was in the Netherlands and I was going to go there, but then it got cancelled due to COVID again. Now I'm finally going to France and it's not cancelled."
Hagel says he's excited to finally to be able to compete against the best in the world.
"I'm pumped. It's going to be awesome, a great experience."
Hagel says that there are a few things that make up a good BMX rider.
"Having balance, staying focused, not getting down, making sure to stay positive, and being motivated to get better."
Hagel says he'd like to thank his friends, family, coach, and his bike supplier Daylight Cycle Co. for helping him get to where he is today.
The world championships run from July 26th to 31st in Nantes, France.