Gibsons mountain biker Lucy Schick had her toughest race of the season last Saturday, but her third-place finish gave her enough points to clinch the top spot in the U21 category of the Enduro World Series.
“It’s pretty amazing; it hasn’t totally sunk in yet. Every time I think about it, I’m like oh my goodness, I can’t believe I actually won,” Schick told Coast Reporter after returning to Victoria, where the 18-year-old attends university.
Enduro racing is a mix of downhill and cross-country cycling. Competitors climb hills and then are timed on their descents, repeated over several stages in each event. Schick won four of the five events she competed in this season, giving her 700 points overall.
The Sept. 21 race in Zermatt, Switzerland was the last of the series. Schick finished 03:40.96 behind Harriet Harnden of the U.K., who took top spot with a time of 00:47:35.38.
“It wasn’t my best race, to be honest. I definitely was stressed about winning the overall, so I don’t think I raced as well as I could have,” Schick said. She also dealt with a failed back brake, which limited her ability to control the bike, caused several small crashes and slowed her down at the end of the race.
The terrain itself was also demanding, but with “absolutely amazing” views, Schick said. “The trails are crazy. They’re all hiking trails with really tight switchbacks on the side of a cliff so if you crash, you’re going a long way down,” she said.
Because Schick is a self-funded “privateer,” she relied on support from smaller sponsors, friends and family throughout the season. She was able to afford her ticket to Switzerland through donations, and stayed with the Kona team, who also provided mechanical support.
“Everyone who helped me get there was pretty incredible,” Schick said. “It definitely wouldn’t have happened without family, friends and sponsors.”
Following the end of the season, Schick plans to take some time off to recuperate before launching into cyclocross for the winter. She has one more year as a U21 category competitor in the Enduro World Series and then has the option of competing professionally.