AUSTIN, Texas - The cycling community is mourning after the death of 25-year-old rising star Anna Moriah Wilson.
Michael Marckx is the creator and race director.
"Mo won the race in dramatic fashion, winning by a ton of time and just obliterating her competitors, and she did it with style and grace. Last year she finished third on a really, really, really hot day. Last year was sort of her breakout season where she started to really leave her mark. This year it was like she was on another level, and we're sitting back watching this flower blossom before our eyes. The super talented athlete, great at anything she did, whether it was skiing or soccer and of course, cycling," he said. "We all just marveled at, you know, just what a wonderful personality and a great athlete and an ambassador for our sport. Then all of a sudden, how could this happen? Everyone's just sort of reeling from it. Like they can't believe that this member of our community was just taken away like that."
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On Wednesday, a woman called 911 saying she came home to find her friend bleeding and unconscious.
Investigators say Wilson died from multiple gunshot wounds, and they have a person of interest. Police say the shooting doesn't appear to be random, and there's no threat to the public.
"One, is it's a reminder to all of us. Take care of each other every day. We don't know when something is going to happen. Normally, as cyclists, we're worried about our friends getting hit by cars and perishing because someone's on their cell phone while driving. It's another thing when there's gun violence involved. Either way, it's a reminder that we can't take anyone or anything for granted. We need to embrace every moment we can. The other thing is, too, it's sort of leaves this this hole and in the gravel communities racing, because she was clearly on top. She was on top of our series, and she had already won a number of races and was on her way to winning a few more. There's just a huge void there. I think even her most fierce competitors will pay honor to her throughout the year. I know that we will at our races, we will celebrate and honor her in every way that we can. I also know that the people that she competes with, both men and women, they will all be thoughtful of her all the time. She had that kind of a presence," Marckx said. "She had a calmness and a cheerfulness to her that is unlike other cyclists who are, you know, very serious, as they should be. She just seemed to float around like an angel."
Wilson emerged in the last two seasons as a dominant gravel and mountain bike racer, says VeloNews. After placing second at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB last year, Wilson won a slew of races in 2022 and had a summer of racing planned, including a trip to East Africa for the Migration Gravel Race and Evolution Gravel.
The Leadville Race Series posted a tribute to Wilson on social media, saying her absence "will leave an irreplaceable hole in our Leadville Family and in the entire sport of cycling."
"Our hearts are broken by the tragic passing of Moriah Wilson. Mo brought an abundance of kindness, humility, and seemingly endless talent to the world. Her absence will leave an irreplaceable hole in our Leadville Family and in the entire sport of cycling.
Our deepest condolences go out to those close to Mo and the entire cycling community as we mourn this difficult tragedy."
Life Time, the parent company of the Leadville Race Series, also shared a statement with FOX 7 Austin, saying "We are devastated by the loss this incredible person. Her personality and fervor will be cherished forever. Our deepest sympathies are with her family at this time."
Wilson’s family issued the following statement to VeloNews late Friday afternoon:
We thank everyone for their expression of love and support for us in this difficult time. While the tragic loss of Moriah is unfathomable, at the same time we want everyone to join us in celebrating her life, accomplishments, and love for others. Always pushing tirelessly to reach her goals, we knew she was pursuing that which she loved. We will miss her terribly and know that all mourn her with us.
We know that Moriah would want the event to carry on, for her compatriots to test their limits, as she would have been alongside her friends on the race course. We hope everyone feels her passion and support as they chase their own dreams. Her spirit will be there with you all, while training and on every race day.
Please do not reach out for interviews or comments for the rest of May. We are planning a celebration of life in June and will be forthcoming with details soon.
Eric, Karen and Matt Wilson