2021 has been a big year for mountain biking in Canada and for Canadians around the world. After a year of disruption, national races have started to return. Internationally, Canadian runners had more opportunities to run and took full advantage of them. The best moments of this year are a mix of race results and other milestones.
With so much going on in 12 months, we break this down into four parts. The first week we cover downhill, Olympic cross country, women’s freeride and a bit of racing here at home.
Canada’s 21 Best Mountain Biking Moments for 2021: Part 1
Jackson Goldstone’s World Championship Season
Jackson Goldstone’s debut World Cup season was simply breathtaking. While the Squamish phenomenon is already a decade in mountain biking stardom, his 2021 race results were incredible. Junior national champion, then World Cup victories and podiums all summer. All topped off with a junior downhill world champion title at Val di Sole in August. Goldstone is the first Canadian to win the title since Finn Iles in 2016, coincidentally also in Val di Sole. Italy looks to bode well for the young Canucks.
Long live the chainsaw published
Steve Smith remains an icon and influential figure in Canadian mountain biking, even five years after his untimely death at the age of 26. Anthill Film’s first documentary, Long live the chainsaw tells the complete, untold story of Smith’s life on and off the racetrack. The incredible 90-minute film is emotionally captivating and inspiring in equal parts. Get some handkerchiefs and go check it out now. (Long live the chainsaw is on tour, and also available to buy and watch at home)
RELATED: The Making Of Long live the chainsaw
Sessions of Darkhorse by Casey Brown
Revelstoke, BC freeride pioneer Casey Brown, hosted the first Darkhorse sessions, a freeride session for women. Organized on a vast course specially designed at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, the event brought together different generations of riders from Canada and abroad, some as young as 12 years old for a progression session. The results have been inspiring and the future of the women’s freeride movement is bright.
The Tokyo Olympic Games are taking place as (re) scheduled
The Olympics are the pinnacle of cross-country mountain biking races. A chance, once every four years, for cycling to be broadcast to a wider audience as the world’s best riders fight for victory on the Olympic stage. And, for a moment, it looked like it might not happen. After being postponed from 2020, the rescheduled date of 2021 was in serious doubt. The Games were held on an excellent course, allowing three Canadians to compete. Catharine Pendrel, on her last Olympic appearance, and Haley Smith and Peter Disera on their Olympic debut.
RELATED: Norco Creates Custom Maple Leaf XC Bikes For Tokyo
The race returns to Canada
After a largely year away, Canadian runners of all skill levels were back to racing across the country this summer. In everything from Canada Cup downhill to local cross country and marathon races, this country’s mountain biking community has been able to come together once again and ride together. Many thanks to all of the organizers who worked harder than ever – often trying to navigate the shifting goals of provincial health regulations – to make these events happen!