Nanaimo's Steve Smith is one of the top downhill mountain bikers in the world right now, but even he was surprised to see the number "1" beside his name at the finish line of the Canadian Open DH on Sunday.
"There's a really awkward corner in the first woods (section), and I like to take a pedal out of it but my foot slipped of the pedal and I went into a tree and crashed," he said. Rather than give up he said he kept running, flipped his bike around and jumped back on. Then he rode faster than was safe to the finish.
"I went way too fast and risked my life," is how he put it to the announcers.
The win was Smith's third in three years on the tough and technical course. A west coaster, he says he's comfortable with that style of riding.
"A lot of people were saying how gnarly the course is especially with the rain, but I just feel comfortable here. It's also my hometown and the pressure is pretty great to go fast. I'm stoked to take another win."
Smith's time was an impossible 2:47.81 on a course that was 1,100 vertical feet. Australia's Mick Hannah was second by just 0.09 seconds, while Sam Blenkinsop, from New Zealand, was 2.2 seconds back of Hannah to place third.
The top three women were Emmeline Ragot of France in 3:13.01, followed by Whistler's Claire Buchar 8.77 seconds later and Floriane Pugin of France 7.23 seconds back of Buchar.
More to come.