There were many reasons that James "Crunch" Crowe was selected as this years recipient of the Lumpty Leidal award, presented each year to an outstanding junior mountain biker.
Racing at home, Crowe has won more WORCA Loonie races than any other rider.
Provincially, he took the Under 17 B.C. Cup title, winning several events and improving steadily as the year went on.
At the national level, he was strong as well, finishing second in Canada at the Tim Hortons Mountain Bike National Championships back in July. He won his age category for the two years before that, staying on top even though the competition gets harder every year.
Hes even excelled at freeriding, winning the junior category in the first ever Whistler Freeride Championship last fall.
Just 16-years-old, Crowe has been the talk of the mountain bike community for more than seven years. He did the Cheakamus Challenge for the first time at the age of nine, and not only finished the race, but stopped several times along the way to help people repair flat tires.
He met Lumpy several times when he was younger, and knows the other past recipients of the award as well Will Routley, Jeff Beatty, Brook Baker, Brendan Edgar and Tyler West.
"It was amazing to get it this year, Im really happy," said Crowe. "Im following a lot of kids I looked up to, looked up to what theyve done. I ride with a lot of them, and use them to improve myself, and theyre always giving me tips and helping out."
Crowe also credits his father, Eric, for helping him to get where he is. "My dad is pretty much my riding partner, we go riding together most of the time, and he gets me out to a lot of races because hes always racing too. I used to try and catch up to him, and now hes trying to catch up to me," said Crowe.
For the rest of the season, Crowe is looking forward to local races like the West Side Wheel Up, the Samurai of Singletrack and the Cheakamus Challenge.
Although cross-country is his preferred discipline, he spends a lot of time in the park and freeriding around town.
"I like to mix it up a lot, go for road rides, ride the park, do some cross-country, thats how I cross-train, and I dont get too bored," he said.
Crowe is sponsored by Oakley, Kona and Evolution.
The Geoff "Lumpy" Leidal Spirit Trophy is presented every year by the parents of Lumpy, a colourful local mountain biker and sport enthusiast who died in a backcountry avalanche in 1998.
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