After racing four weeks straight in the BC Premier Downhill Series & Canada Cup Series 18-year-old Gabriel Neron has dominated the Jr. Sport Men (17-18) category with two silver finishes and three golds. Neron, a Sun Peaks resident, currently tops his category with an overall point total of 950 surpassing second place competitor JT Bjarnason from Fruitvale, B.C. by 320 points.
As the season has progressed Neron’s goal for each race has increased from leading the pack to topping the podium with a 20 second lead over the competition.
“Overall my goal this season was trying to move closer to the elite man and junior experts. Every time I go out for a race I can cut off five seconds so I’m getting closer to that,” said Neron.
Being used to the steep terrain of Sun Peaks Resort’s bike park, Neron has been tested as an athlete this season by having to adapt to more challenging courses found in the Kootenay region.
“In Sun Peaks it’s steep and lots of roots and little rocks here and there but in Fernie, it was like riding powder on a bike. So it was like surfing a bike down a super steep section,” said Neron.
Despite having a near perfect run at Panorama Mountain Resort July. 29, Neron had to push through some mental challenges before topping the podium 12 seconds faster than his fellow competitors.
“I was really tired. It was more of a mental aspect this weekend which is also good. It was a good test, but definitely stressful,” he said.
Now heading into a six-week break before the next stop on the series at Big White Resort on Sept. 2, Neron will have a chance to recover and work towards hitting his season goal of first place overall title in the Jr. Sport Men (17-18) category.