Last year, Patrick Laffey made a splash in the world of downhill mountain bike racing with three top-five results at junior World Cup events in Europe.
This year, the 18-year-old Grade 12 student at Ecole au Cœur de l’île in Comox has signed with Unior/Devinci Factory Racing — a Canadian/Slovenian mountain bike team of elite racers who compete in World Cup and Enduro World Series events.
“It’s a great source of pride for Devinci to see Patrick make the leap from our development program to our factory team,” Bastien Major, enduro team manager in Quebec, said in a news release. “Pat was able to show his formidable speed and potential last season with three podiums on the World Cup circuit. For us, there’s no doubt: he has to be provided with all the support possible on the factory team. He’s one of the young talents who stand out and excel in the sport at a young age. We know he’ll go far.”
Laffey is one of several local racers coached by Gravity MTB co-owner Chad Hendren, who initiated a Youth Development Race Team in 2018.
Hendren has worked with Laffey since he was 15.
“Patrick has a good head on his shoulders,” Hendren said. “From all the questions he asked me when we first met and his awesome skills on his bike, I knew he would go places with downhill mountain biking…Patrick has uncanny balance and is not afraid of pushing the limits to see what is actually achievable.”
This season, Laffey will travel to events throughout Canada and Europe, including a race in Slovenia.
“I won’t be travelling with him, but we will set him up with all he needs while he is away,” Hendren said.
Laffey’s mother, Louise Chabot, notes that Mountain City Cycle in Courtenay has also supported her son.
“Patrick has big goals,” she said. “It all will be accomplished with the great team he has behind him.”