Canadians dominated the junior ranks at the DH Mountain Bike World Cup in Andorra this July. Kootenay photographer Conrad Swetland was there to see it in play out in person. Here’s his slideshow.
It was the middle of a heat wave in the heart of the Andorran Pyrenees in the small town of La Massana when I stepped onto a gondola at the Vallnord Bike Park. I was en route to the dusty, steep, and loose course that made up the 2022 Vallnord DH Mountain Bike World Cup.
Whistler local Finn Illes, who’s having his best season ever, was favoured to podium in the Men’s Elite class while in the Men’s Junior class other Canadians were set to dominate. And that they did. In fact, four of the top five men’s juniors were from the Great White North including Squamish local Jackson Goldstone, who came in first, Tegan Cruz (third), Bodhi Kuhn (fourth) and Tristan Lemire (fifth).
Meanwhile, Gracey Hemstreet from BC’s Sunshine Coast, came in second in the Junior Women’s category. With so many talented young mountain bikers in the ranks, Canada and British Columbia have a bright and exciting future in downhill racing.
As for Finn Iles (seen in the above photo on the right), he came in third with an insanely fast time of 2:46, two seconds behind the winner Loris Vergier from France.
During the race week, over 400 athletes competed in three different events including cross-country olympic, cross-country short track, and downhill. These are my photographs from the DH races.