As Gracey Hemstreet prepared to face the Whip-off World Champs at Crankworx Whistler’s track, she was surprised with a new helmet. It wasn’t just any helmet that Brandon Semenuk — the three-time Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Gold Medalist and only person to win Red Bull Rampage four times — gave her, but Red Bull headwear, adding her to the company’s high-level roster of athletes.
On Instagram, Hemstreet wrote that her mind was blown. “Had the best day of my life yesterday, I am honestly still lost for words. I have wanted this day to happen for as long as I can remember and it finally did. Thank you so much to @brandonsemenuk for surprising me with my first Red Bull helmet. such a life changing moment and I’m so thankful to be a part of the @redbullcanada family.”
With her new helmet on, the Sunshine Coast team earned the junior women’s third place in the Whip-off Worlds among veteran riders. Hemstreet joins the likes of Squamish’s Jackson Goldstone and Finn Iles, who also wear the iconic helmets.
World Cups continue
Her latest accolades come just after a race with some “sketchy moments” when Hemstreet raced at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, in round 7 of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series in the first weekend of August.
The long, dry track took several of the elite women racers out of the competition before it even began. Over the 2.78 kilometres, the women’s junior competitors averages a speed of 32.4 kilometres/hour.
While timed training runs saw Britain’s Phoebe Gale and Hemstreet swapping first and second place, Gale reclaimed first place on race day with a time of 5:09.223. A little more than seven seconds behind her secured a podium standing in third place for Hemstreet at 5:16.805.
Although Hemstreet has acquired some new injuries along the way this season, she has not left the World Cup podium, and Hemstreet is still in the lead with a total of 380 points earned. Gale, in second place, has 355 points to her name after she dropped to seventh place at the World Cup competition in Snoeshoe, West Virginia, at the end of July. Before that, only five points separated the lead and second place, as Hemstreet had 275 points to Gale’s 270.
The eighth World Cup up for grabs this series will be won at Val di Sole, Italy, over the Labour Day long weekend. But first, the World Cup championships will crown a winner in France on Aug. 28. Time will soon tell who will come out on top.