Cycling News

Interview and bike check: Gabe Neron’s Sun Peaks homecoming

Interview and bike check: Gabe Neron's Sun Peaks homecoming

Based on how Gabe Neron ended the Canada Cup season, with three straight wins at Panorama, Kicking Horse and now Sun Peaks, you’d think the season was an easy one. But, after a big crash in the pre-season, Neron’s homecoming at Sun Peaks wraps off an impressive comeback for the Quebec racer now based in Squamish, B.C.

The Dunbar/Corsa racer was rolling into this season with momentum, having won the 2022 elite men’s national title. A heavy crash, though, put his training on hold this spring and put him on the back foot coming into racing. At Sun Peaks, Neron was locked in a battle for the overall title with Vancouver Island’s Patrick Laffey.

Neron keeping it low and fast during his Sun Peaks race run. Photo: Sara Kempner

That made Sunday’s final run worth far more than a Canada Cup win. To add to the suspense, a destroyed wheel meant Neron couldn’t make it to the finish line in Saturday’s seeding and would have to start first in Sunday’s final. Neron put in a blistering-fast time on Sunday, then had to wait in the hot seat as rider after rider tried their best to beat his marker.

It wasn’t until Laffey, the last rider on the mountain, launched across the finish line that Neron knew he’d won the race and, with that, the overall.

We caught up with Neron just after his big day in the hot seat to find out how his win at Sun Peaks, and Canada Cup season unfolded.

Gabe Neron on top of the elite men’s podium at Sun Peaks. Photo: Sara Kempner
CanadianMTB: You had a big mechanical yesterday and the overall was on the line today. Were you at all nervous before your run?

Gabe Neron: Honestly, I was nervous. Mainly because I only did one top to bottom before this, and it was this morning. Which is a bit unusual. That made me a little bit nervous, but I know this course pretty well.

With the crash yesterday, you were the first elite men’s rider on course today. That’s a long wait at the bottom for Patrick Laffey to come down. What was it like just sitting there in the hot seat waiting?

It was very very nerve-racking being at the bottom. I think both being at the top and being the last guy down is nerve-wracking, but also sitting at the bottom on the hot seat when you know there are fast people coming down. It was full of emotions.

Neron, Laffey and third-place Jack Pelland after Laffey crossed the finish line. Photo: Andrea Heath
You’ve spent quite a bit of time at Sun Peaks?

I’m from Quebec originally, but I lived here in Sun Peaks…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…