Canadian downhill national champions crowned at Kicking Horse
Dunbar Summer Series' Superweek of DH wraps up in the Rockies
Sunday capped off a big week of Dunbar Summer Series racing with the grand finale: 2022 Canadian downhill national championships. The event returned to the rocky shelves and steep woods of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and the classic venue once again delivered hard-fought racing and deserving champions.
Over 350 registered to start on Sunday. That meant excellent competition and big crowds for the final finishers of the day.
Bailey Goldstone (Specialized Canada) earns her first elite title. The Squamish racer carried the Canada Cup leader’s jersey into Kicking Horse and used that consistent speed to take the win on Sunday by just over two seconds. Lucy Schick (Norco) earns second. Rachel Pageau, battling with a knee injury from her last block of World Cup racing, places third. Tori Wood (Corsa) and Nelson, B.C.’s Chandrima Lavoie round out the podium in fourth and fifth.
There isn’t a rider on the start list that the Dunbar Summer Series crowd wouldn’t have been stoked to see win. But the crowd really wanted to see Gabe Neron take the title. After two second-places this week, the Dunbar racer stormed to a huge win – and his first elite national championships title – on Sunday at Kicking Horse. When Neron manualed across the finish line, the crowd went wild. Our photographer on course said he could hear the cheers halfway up the mountain.
Lucas Cruz (Norco Factory Team) takes second, even with a crash in his run. Jack Pelland (Dunbar) squeezes into third just ahead of Henry Fitzgerald (Norco Factory Team). We Are One’s EWS racer Emmett Hancock made a return to his downhill roots to land the final podium position in fifth.
Jackson Frew was also flying all week. After winning two Canada Cups, he posted one of the top times in Golden, just behind Neron. Because Frew’s Australian, his time doesn’t show on official results.
Junior women's podium. Photo: Niall Pinder
under-17 men's podium. Photo: Niall Pinder
Junior and U17
Battles were tight in each of the junior and u17 categories, but there was a common theme between them. The top riders in each category posted times that would have been podium-fast in the elite races. Comparing times between categories always comes with the caveat that different time of day and course conditions can impact speed but one thing is certain: Canada’s youth are really fast.
Gracey Hemstreet (Norco Factory Team) earns the junior women’s national title. To do so, the Sunshine Coast racer who currently leads the World Cup standings, had to get by Emmy Lan from Norco’s Enduro World Series team. Lan had two Canada Cup wins already this week rolling into Kicking Horse. Lan also posted the fastest time in seeding on Saturday. In the end, Hemstreet established a solid five-second winning margin to earn her first junior women’s national championship. Emmy Lan takes second and Joy Attalla (Dunbar) third. All three posted the top-three women’s times of the day. Sophia Ervington (Corsa) narrowly edged out Eva Leikermoser (Gravity MTB) by 0.13 seconds in the fight for fourth.
Tegan Cruz (RockShox Trek) rolled into Kicking Horse hot off of a World Cup podium appearance in Vallnord, Andorra. Cruz carried that confidence to a blazing-fast winning time of 3:52.46, third fastest men’s time of the day. Like Hemstreet, Cruz will wear the maple leaf sleeve when he returns to the World Cup circuit in Snowshoe, W.Va.
Coen Skrypnek earns second place at Kicking Horse. Elijah Barron (Gravity MTB) places third, just edging out Whistler’s Marcus Goguen by 0.24 seconds. Max Halchuk (Blueprint Athlete Development) rounds out the junior men’s podium in fifth.
Jon Mozell (Dunbar) stormed to a very solid win in the under-17 men’s race. Along with earning the maple leaf sleeve Mozell’s time, 3:52.83 was the fourth fastest on Sunday across categories. Ryan Griffith earns second, Jake Polito (Instinct Racing) third, Jacob Quist fourth and Anthony Shelly (Instinct Racing) rounds out the podium in fifth.
aMTB men's podium. Photo: Niall Pinder.
aMTB women's podium. Photo: Niall Pinder
Adaptive Men and Women
Samson Danniels and Amanda Timm are the 2022 aMTB DH national champions. Danniels, from North Vancouver earns his title over Nevada’s Wufky Crosby, the winner in Fernie, and Chile’s Gustavo Ortiz, the winner at Panorama. Justin Johnson and Landon McGauley in fourth and fifth round out a very international men’s podium.
Amanda Timm of Canmore, Alta. completed her sweep of the Dunbar Summer Series aMTB women’s races with her national title at Kicking Horse. Sierra Roth of Victoria, B.C. earns second.
Full category results from 2022 Canadian downhill national championships are online now.