It hasnt even started yet and already 2001 has been a banner year in mountain biking for Whistlers own Will Routley.
Not only has the 17 year old been named to the Rocky Mountain Bikes pro team, he was been selected to represent Canada as a member of the National Junior Team.
He has more than earned it, owning the Junior Expert division in almost every race her entered last season.
Last summer he finished first in his category in the 67 kilometre Squamish Test of Metal, almost nine minutes ahead of his closest challenger.
He was first in his division in the 70 km Cheakamus Challenge by more than 25 minutes, and finished ninth overall competing against some of the best racers in Canada.
In the Canada Cup cross country finals at Silver Star, he finished second to Junior National Champion Jamie Douglas by a gap of just 11 seconds.
He also collected Union Cycliste Internationale points with a second place finish to a top American prospect in the Whistler International Classic last summer.
According to father Tony Routley, an accomplished mountain biker in his own right, Will has been training all winter for the upcoming season.
"Everything is coming together for him after last season, and hes been working really hard to get to the next level," said Tony.
Rocky Mountain has been making some huge acquisitions lately, signing Olympic racers Andreas Hestler and Lesley Tomlinson, plus a number of top junior and cadet racers.
"The individuals hes working with and seeing in action are incredible, and hes learning a lot from these guys," Tony said.
Routley has been to the city several times to go on training rides with the team, and has been following a training regimen prescribed by the national junior team. His goals are to win the Canada Cup series, the national championships, and to represent Canada as a member of the national team at the world championships in September. Down the road he has his sites set on the Olympics.
His first test as a Rocky Mountain team rider will take place next weekend as Will and Tony fly down to California to participate in the Sea Otter Classic on March 25. Following the competition, Will will remain in California with other national team cyclists to train for the seasons first World Cup race, in Napa Valley from April 7 to 8.