In the span of about two weeks, Patrick Laffey won a B.C. championship, sandwiched between a pair of podium finishes at World Cup downhill mountain bike races in Europe.
The 17-year-old member of the Comox Valley-based Gravity MTB Youth Development Race Team placed third in the junior men’s division at an event in Andorra, a tiny country nestled between Spain and France. A few days later, he won the junior expert division at the BC Cup Championships at Big White in Kelowna. Then on Saturday, he was second at another World Cup downhill race in Les Gets, France.
“Four top five finishes so far in his World Cup debut season,” said coach Chad Hendren, co-owner of Gravity MTB. “Unfortunately downhill is not in the Olympics quite yet, but if it was, Patrick would be representing Canada for sure.”
Along with the local club, Laffey is also involved with the Quebec-based Devinci development team. Emmy Lan of the Gravity team placed second in the junior girls division at Big White. Cole Stinson, Connor Nettleton and Calum Barr were third, fourth and sixth respectively in U17 boys. Ian Lehton was sixth in the junior expert division, and Maddox Wyker was ninth in U15.
Lan followed with a third-place result at another event in Sun Peaks near Kamloops. Nettleton, Stinson and Barr were second, third and fifth respectively in U17 boys. In his first race back from hand surgery, Carson Damery placed sixth in the U17 boys race. Lehton was seventh in the junior expert division.
Last weekend at a Canada Cup downhill race at Silver Star in Vernon, Lan and Stinson both had first-place results. Nettleton came second in the U17s and Lehton was eighth in junior expert.
The next race is at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, followed by the national championships at Panorama Resort at the end of July.