By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pedal Power - Third Grader Off To BMX Championships
Today, he is a third grade student at Dent Elementary School in Escalon.

By next week, he could be a world champion.

Cole Murray, 9, is headed to the UCI BMX World Championships in Birmingham, England after qualifying in recent regional competition.

"He's only been riding one and a half years," said his dad, Jim Murray. "He went from being a novice to an expert pretty fast."

The youngster and his twin brother Ty ride regularly at Spreckels Park in Manteca and are part of the Icee Anderson BMX team.

The family lives on Lone Tree Road in Escalon and dad Jim said the brothers kind of fell into the sport by accident, just looking for something fun to do.

Both brothers love it, but Cole definitely had the stuff to take it to the next level.

"I mostly enjoy the jumping," Cole said, adding he likes a maneuver that's a mid-air wheelie, without touching the pedals.

"And winning," he said. "That's super fun."

His schedule includes plenty of practice and working out with a trainer, getting into great shape in preparation for the world championships.

Cole, Ty and their mother, Melody Murray, will be traveling to England for the competition.

"I'm a little nervous," Cole admitted.

He expects, though, that as soon as he is on his bike, those nerves will settle down and he can focus on the ride.

The three will be leaving for Birmingham on Friday, May 18. The actual competition will be stretched out over several days, for practices and races, May 20 through 26, and they will return to Escalon on June 5.

"He will have two days of practice and then the race with the 20-inch," Murray said of his son's BMX bike competition. "Then two days of practice followed by the race with the 24-inch."

Cole attended competition in San Diego that was a UCI qualifier and rode mainly against 12-year-olds there, holding his own in the races. The world championships, his dad added, are sanctioned by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and are a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"It's awesome," the 9-year-old said of gearing up for the experience. "I feel great."

Young Cole will aim to do his best against top racers from all over the world and there will be an estimated 2,000 riders in multiple age divisions and classes.

"Wherever he finishes will be what he's ranked in the world," Murray said.

More information about the championships is available on the website,