By Kelly Werthmann

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS) – A Highlands Ranch teenager will soon represent the United States in the 2017 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Luxembourg.

“I am super thrilled to be heading to Europe,” Ashely Zoerner, 17, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

Zoerner got into cyclocross, a sport that combines cross country running and cycling, when she was about seven years old. It’s a sport she said she is “hooked” on and earned her the title of national champion earlier this month.

Ashely Zoerner (credi: CBS)

Ashely Zoerner (credi: CBS)

“We go through all kinds of terrain and have to get off our bike and go over obstacles and ride over a tone of different things,” she said of describing cyclocross.

After qualifying to compete on the global stage, Zoerner is taking her incredible skills and love of the sport to Luxembourg. She is among 30 cyclists with the USA Cycling Team, including six other riders from Colorado, who will represent the U.S. next weekend.

“The nerves haven’t really hit yet,” Zoerner said with a smile. “I’m pretty sure when I get over there though I’ll get more nervous and definitely the day before and day of.”

Zoerner had been raising money to support her trip to Europe, collecting more than $4,500 to help pay for her travel expenses and bike transport. She hopes to bring back a win for the U.S, especially Colorado.

Ashely Zoerner (credi: CBS)

Ashely Zoerner (credi: CBS)

“I’m just honored to represent Colorado and the U.S. in the world championships,” she said. “I hope to perform my best and I have a really good race and see what I can do over there.”

Zoerner leaves for Luxembourg Monday morning and will compete on Jan. 28. CBS4 wishes Zoerner and all of Team USA good luck!

LINK: Help Ashely Zoerner Raise Funds

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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