Heading into this year’s BC Cup series local Gabriel Neron had one goal in mind -to take the overall title. Dominating the Jr. Sport Men (17 and 18 year-old) category with top two finishes in each competition on the circuit he was well on his way to achieving the overall title.
Neron was challenged by professional mountain biker Brett Tippie to move up into the Jr. Expert category for his final race of the season at Mt. Washington. The switch took Neron out of contention for the overall title but qualified him for the Elite Men’s category next season.
“I realized that if I didn’t move to Junior Ex. I would have to qualify for Elite Men next year. I didn’t want to do that,” said Neron.
This year was the first season he has competed in almost the entire series, a crash on Sept. 2 at Big White prevented him from competing in one race.
“I went out I had two great runs and then I went for a third one and after the last quarter of the race course I went around a corner, got hung up went over the bars (and) snapped the bicycle in a few pieces. Bruised my hip and scratched my elbow pretty bad that’s why I didn’t end up racing,” he said.
With only two weeks between the Big White competition and the final competition of the series in Mt. Washington, Neron had to rebuild his bike before the next race.
“It was quite a bit of work to get everything in time for the race but I got help from my friend Matt at the shop (Elevation Bike at Sun Peaks) and we got it together,” he recalled.
Throughout the weekend in Washington over 150 milliliters of rain fell causing for muddy and cold conditions on the course, forcing Neron to put mud tires on for the first time ever.
“The Saturday I had to do seeding runs because I swapped categories. I did my seeding runs (and) I got fourth which is I think reasonable,” he said.
The next morning Neron woke up to rain, but not letting the conditions get him down he went for one lap before the races and went for it.
“I got to the top it was snowing but I was ready. It was the last race and I was there to have fun. So I had a lot of fun in my race run and I got to the bottom and I sat on the first step of the podium for about two minutes then the last three guys came down and they got me which is fair enough but I still got a third position so I’m stoked with that,” said Neron.
Neron finished the race with a time of 4:09.33 following second place competitor Kendall McLean and Lucas Cruz who both have World Cup experience.
Sponsored by Sun Peaks Resort, Rocky Mountain, Down the Road Wellness, Meranti, and EVI Neron is thankful for all the support he’s received this season and is looking forward to competing in the Elite Men’s division next season.