ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – At only 11 years old, BMX rider Danica Appenzeller has taken home some hardware on the world stage. The Albuquerque native finished second at the UCI BMX Racing World Championships in France earlier this summer, and she believes the skills she learned at Duke City BMX elevated her above the international competition.

“Well I sort of like to be aggressive and I like jumping and manualing too,” she said. “It wasn’t really that different, but a lot of their tracks are really technical, so sort of like the track [at Duke City BMX].”

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Six years ago, a friend of Appenzeller informed her of the sport and she attended a novice training at Duke City BMX. She really liked what the sport had to offer and a new passion for BMX was born.

The category where Appenzeller excelled in France was “cruiser.” The main difference between her different style of bike is that a cruiser has 24 inch wheels while the other bikes have 20 inch wheels. Appenzeller placed second in the event for the girls 12 and under age group, where she earned the only silver for Team USA in the category.

While she’s only 11, Appenzeller has her sights set on some lofty goals in the future. She hopes to get to world one or national one, which would put her among the top female riders in the sport. She knows it will take some work, but believes she has what it takes.

“Being more aggressive and trying new things. Like my coach Thomas, he wants me to try new things but I get a little nervous because I might break a bone or crash. I don’t really want to do that, but sometimes I sort of have to.”