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Sechelt teen racks up mountain biking medals

Hemstreet takes home three medals in one month

In less than a month, Porpoise Bay’s Gracey Hemstreet has taken home three medals from mountain biking competitions, including from her first world championships.

On Sept. 26, 16-year-old Hemstreet earned gold on home turf at Coast Gravity Park during the BC Cup final. She took first place in the junior women’s downhill with a time of 2:24.37.

This followed her silver medal, earned at the 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI World Cup in Switzerland, as she worked her way up the podium. On Sept. 4, Hemstreet finished with a time of 3:32.597 – only 3.501 seconds behind the junior women’s first place.

Only a week earlier, Hemstreet won the bronze medal in the junior women’s category at the 2021 UCI World Championships. The race took place in Val di Sole, Italy on Aug. 29. 

Hemstreet finished the Black Snake with a time of 4:44.11. Out of the competitors, she was the fastest at 42.41 kilometres per hour.

In an email, Hemstreet described the Black Snake as “a wild one.” The top of the course started with a flowy section full of berms and jumps, which Hemstreet said is her strong suit. 

“The course was so gnarly. I had never ridden a course like that and to race it was insane,” Hemstreet said. 

On top of the challenging terrain, it rained the night before race day. Although Hemstreet had a small crash during practice, she had a clean run come race time.

At the time, Hemstreet said earning a bronze at worlds was one of her biggest achievements on her bike.