After winning last week in Reno, Nevada at the 2018 USA Juniors Cyclo-Cross National Championships, 17-year-old Benjamin Gomez Villfañe, is quickly making a name for himself in the world of cycling.
Up next for the Scotts Valley High School senior is competing for Team USA in World Championships in the Netherlands this February.
“Getting to go and represent the country, it is a huge honor,” Gomez Villfañe said. “In racing there a lot of kids who all want the same thing but only six get selected to be on Team USA."
Gomez Villfañe spends 10 to 12 hours weekly training for his races. Often times he will practice cycling along Highway 1 and through the Santa Cruz Mountains.
According to Gomez Villfañe, winning the 17-18-year-old Junior Men's division in Reno was a "big win on the resume."
The race, divided into five laps, featured terrain including a ditch cyclers rode over, a sand pit and stairs. Since the course is located at a higher elevation, Gomez Villfañe said he took vitamin supplements to prepare his body for the lack of oxygen in the air.
“A lot of people think riding a bike is easy,” Gomez Villfañe said. “But when you go out in a race you end up pushing yourself to the very end.”