Riding home to his dad’s place in Whistler Cay with a bronze medal around his neck after his third-place finish in the U19 category of the Canadian Open DH race on Sunday, Aug. 14, Whistler’s Marcus Goguen thought Crankworx Whistler 2022 was all but wrapped up.
Then his phone started to blow up with texts and calls.
On the other end of the line, when Goguen answered, was his good friend and fellow downhill racer Tegan Cruz, telling him to hurry back to the finish corral as the announcers were once again calling his name up to the stage.
After sprinting back to the base of Whistler Mountain, Goguen found out he was the 2022 winner of the Stevie Smith Memorial Award, given to a young rider who competes in all three downhill races—Air DH, Canadian Open and Garbanzo DH—at Crankworx Whistler (though just two races this year, with no Garbanzo DH race taking place).
“Stevie was definitely someone I idolized. I think pretty much any downhiller in Canada idolized Stevie,” said Goguen. “So getting an award like that is pretty amazing. Especially now that I’m more into downhill, I really am starting to grasp how much of an honour that award is and how much of a legacy Stevie really [left]. So it’s really cool to get this award.”
The award—created in honour of Canada’s only World Cup Downhill overall winner who tragically died from injuries sustained in a mountain bike crash in Nanaimo in 2016—capped off an extremely long and tiring, but successful, week for Goguen, who finished first in Air DH, third in the Canadian Open downhill and fifth in his first-ever pro Enduro World Series (EWS) race, while competing in the junior categories.
“My first-ever real EWS pro race was pretty cool. I got to ride the new 1199 Stevie Smith track, which was amazing, and pretty cool to be the first to do that. And then probably the Sunday, [with] the full EWS, was probably one of the longest days I’ve had on my bike in a long time,” Goguen said about his week at Crankworx.
“And then Canadian Open was probably one of the more serious ones for me, since downhill is my biggest discipline. And I came down in third with a pretty solid run. It was pretty cool to be up on the podium with Tegan (Cruz) and Jackson (Goldstone) as they’ve both been crushing it on the World Cup circuit.”
For Goguen, mountain biking has always played second fiddle to his main passion of skiing. But over the years, particularly this year, as he has seen his biking get more consistent and his results continue to get higher and higher, Goguen’s passion for mountain biking is starting to get stronger.
“Just in the past two, three years, I’m definitely starting to get more into [mountain biking] and trying to hit more races, and so with that comes more research and putting more effort into the sport,” he said. “As results are showing I guess I’m doing OK in both sports, so I’d definitely like to try to keep that up for as long as possible.”
With that in mind, Goguen isn’t ready to fully choose either sport yet.
“I am more into skiing than biking, but I think I have fun in both and it’s definitely good to have the competitive spirit in both winter and summer,” he said.
“So it’s definitely a good thing that I want to keep doing.”
With the money won through the Stevie Smith award, Goguen hopped on a flight to France where he will compete in the UCI World Championships in Les Gets this week, before returning home and shifting focus to training for ski season.