Brock Hawes qualifies for World Championships

Brock Hawes is Canada’s junior men’s national champion in downhill mountain biking after an impressive win at Fernie Alpine Resort.
Five men stand outside holding their hand up in front of a checkered red and white banner with mountain bikes in front of them.
Brock Hawes stands at the top of the podium after winning the 2023 Canadian Downhill MTB Championship. Photo submitted

Local downhill mountain biker Brock Hawes is officially the junior men’s national champion. 

Hawes is currently on tour for the summer and recently competed in the 2023 Canadian Downhill MTB Championship at Fernie Alpine Resort in July. SPIN caught up with Hawes while he was back in Sun Peaks for a short visit. 

In Fernie, Hawes not only won the top spot for his division but also had the fastest time of the day, with a winning time of 2:31.04.

“I ended up getting the fastest time of the day by two seconds over all the previous World Cup Racers. So that was pretty neat to do,” Hawes said.

The win came after a bad crash the day before.

“It took a lot of my confidence out in a couple of sections, but I was able to overcome it and put down a good race.”

The Gravity Racing athlete’s competition at Fernie qualified him for the World MTB Championships in Scotland. Hawes said his goal for Scotland is to make the top ten. He thinks the new bike he’s riding, a Forbidden downhill prototype, will help him compete.

“My confidence is a lot higher on that bike than it was on the other one,” he said, adding the suspension on his ride is more impressive than his previous bike, the Dreadnaught.

In June, Hawes headed to Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Leogang, Austria and Val di Sole, Italy, for races throughout Europe.

As this was his first international tour, Hawes said the experience was a lesson in expenses as well as the difference in pollen.

“When we arrived in Frankfurt and then drove to Switzerland, there was a lot of pollen in the air that we weren’t used…my nose was all clogged up and I was coughing. Once we went off to Austria, it got better,” Hawes explained.

Another aspect to contend with was the cost of travelling in Switzerland, and Hawes said he and his family are still accepting donations through their online campaign.

“Switzerland was super expensive – a lot more expensive than I thought it would be. My Dad and I went out for breakfast a couple of times, and two omelets, two coffees, was like $75 Canadian,” he explained.

Hawes still has high hopes that this season’s results will land him on a factory team, which would provide him with sponsorship and alleviate the high cost of the competition.

After he competes in Scotland, Hawes is slated to head to the Canada Cup at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Aug. 13. Then he’s back home in Sun Peaks for the Canada Cup finals Aug. 20.

After that, he’s headed to France for two competitions in September, then returns to North America for a US-based competition and another in Quebec.
To keep up with Hawes, you can follow him on Instagram.

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