Chocolate Foot

RIP James "Willo" Williamson

The cycling world is reeling from the shock of the news that yesterday James Williamson passed away in his sleep whilst in South Africa for the Cape Epic mountain bike race.

James Williamson known as "Willo" and "Jimi" to friends and the cycling fraternity, managed to pack a lot of success into his all too short 26 years. Universally liked and admired by all who knew him, he was respected on track as a determined and naturally talented rider who was also a complete gentleman in competition. He really set the standard for how fast riders should behave in mass participation events where passing is common.

James first came to be noticed when he entered the 2002 Western Sydney MTB Club 12 hour endurance mountain bike event. The solo category was the only option to enter the otherwise sold-out event, so at the age of just 18 he gave it a crack... and smashed everyone, winning the premier category of Australian's (then) 2nd biggest mountain bike event.

In 2006 James won the Australian 24-hour solo championships by over a lap. Then in 2008 he took it to the world, traveling to Canmore, Canada and winning the World Solo 24-hour mountain bike Championships in his first attempt.

His World Champion title also coincided with James landing his dream job as editor of Enduro magazine a cycling mag about and for endurance mountain bikers like him. He took to the challenge like a piece of sweet singletrack, carving his own style and shaping Enduro into a very well respected publication. The final edition that James edited of the magazine is slated to hit the news stands tomorrow.

On a personal note both Fi and I talked to James over the phone just a fortnight ago in relation to his magazine and he was, as ever, fantastic to deal with and couldn't have been more helpful to us. Our last conversation with him was as he was on the way to the airport, leaving for the Cape Epic that he was very excited about. We also talked and rode with his incredibly lovely Aunt Megan at the Wingello 5 Hour event last Sunday; an event that James had arranged sponsorship for through his magazine Enduro.

James "Willo" Williamson will be sincerely missed by the entire cycling community and we wish his family, partner Niki and teammate Shaun, our deepest and most sincere condolences.

Joe and  Fi

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