A local mountain biker is the overall winner of the 2022 B.C. Cup Downhill Series after competing in the final race this past weekend.
The series was a collection of events across the province where racers accumulated points. Brock Hawes participated in the junior expert men division and found himself leading in points from the beginning of the summer.
He just returned from the final B.C. Cup event at Coast Gravity Park in Sechelt, B.C., confirming his place as the overall winner this season.
“[The junior expert men division] is a pretty fast category with a lot of talent in it,” Hawes said. “The season’s been amazing … It’s been unbelievable what can happen with a good team. I owe it all to my manager [and] coach from Graviti Driven.”
The 17-year-old said he had never heard of downhill mountain biking before his family moved to Sun Peaks in 2018, but as soon as he tried it he fell in love.
Hawes entered his first race in 2019. Although he didn’t do well right away, he saw massive improvement the next year.
“In 2020 I went to try and do another race, which was in SilverStar, and I ended up coming second,” Hawes said. “I was really stoked on that, so I fell in love with racing right there and continued doing the B.C. Cups for two years … I keep progressing.”
Hawes’ focus has been learning to take less risks for more clean runs. Although he saw more improvement and success this year, he said he still made some mistakes throughout the season, including a few crashes during races.
Around mid-season, right before the Canadian Downhill Mountain Bike Championship at Kicking Horse Resort, Hawes was riding a steep track on his day off when he crashed.
“It was just a silly crash and I just smashed a rock with my armpit,” Hawes said. “I rode down the rest of the trail — I crashed at 17 minutes in and I rode until the full 26 minutes. Then I took my jersey off and was ungearing, and a buddy of mine said I was bleeding.”
Hawes realized his armpit was cut open and would require stitches, which meant he would be unable to compete at nationals in Kicking Horse.
“The adrenaline dump just hit me. It really sucks because if I were to podium at nationals I would have got an invitation to go to Worlds,” Hawes said. “The universe had different thoughts.”
Moving forward, Hawes said he is looking for sponsorships to help him with training and to find more success at the World Cup. He also intends to take a bike mechanics course in spring 2023 and will begin to hold fundraisers next year to help him keep going after his goals.
To check out photos or videos of Hawes, visit his Instagram at @brock_hawes.