As the second-to-last competitor in the elite men’s division of the BC Cup Downhill series held at Sun Peaks Resort July 7, Gabe Neron didn’t know what times his competitors put on the board. He only knew he needed to send it to earn a podium finish at his home mountain.
As one of four local athletes competing in the event, Neron felt some pressure heading into the competition as he knows the course and had no excuse for a bad run.
“I was able to let go of it, to be honest, I worked really hard not to get that pressure on my shoulders and I think it paid off,” he said.
Neron’s focus did pay off, finishing the course with a time of 4:50.73 he took first place in his age category.
“It sure was a good feeling, a very good feeling.”
He added he felt he had home mountain advantage on his side, knowing where the roots, rocks, and ruts were along the course combined with perfect tacky dirt he flew down the course.
“I had my watch on with the GPS and that first section we hit about 75 kilometres an hour going over that rock drop,” said Neron. It goes really quickly, and it’s really physical again it’s a really long course and quite steep as well.”
One of the longest courses in the BC Cup series, it saw most of the competitors ride the same line, Neron said it came down whose fitness level could handle a five-minute race.
“It was really who can stay off the brakes the most, whose fit enough to go for it for five minutes because it’s a pretty long course,” he stated.
Also competing this weekend from Sun Peaks was Kyleigh Stewart who placed second in the elite women’s division and Mattias Grunling who earned a seventh-place finish in the U15 men’s division. Both Neron and Grunling will travel to Silverstar Mountain Resort for the next race of the series July 14..