Nelson mountain bike rookie turns heads
A Nelson teen has an opportunity to take his passion for mountain biking to a new level.
Sebastian Lutz, 17, has secured one of four coveted spots on the PerformX Downhill development team, which trains young mountain bikers to compete at the World Cup level.
Lutz caught the attention of PerformX while racing on the BC Cup downhill circuit last summer. It was Lutz’s first season racing competitively.
“I just wanted to see how I’d stand up to other riders,” the L.V. Rogers secondary school senior said.
He raced in Mission, Kamloops, Vernon and Invermere and managed to podium at each event.
“I was pretty surprised by how well I did,” he said. “A lot of the other racers train year-round and had lots of practice on those trails. For me, I’d never even been on the course before.”
Born and raised in Nelson, Lutz has been bombing down local trails at top speed since he was a young boy. But only after his recent success did he consider mountain biking at a professional level.
Now he’s focused on keeping his fitness level up — hitting the gym six days per week — as he prepares for his first training camp in California in March.
Once he wraps up his final semester at LVR, he plans to move to the coast to be closer to the team’s home base in Pemberton.
This summer he’ll be competing in Canada Cup races across BC and Quebec. Success at that level will help him line up the corporate sponsorship he’ll need to compete in World Cup races down the road.
“My goal is to be racing on the World Cup circuit in the next five years,” he said.
Lutz is the youngest member of the PerformX development team, which is co-managed and coached by Rossland’s Ryan Kuhn. He needs to be 19 for the professional team.
“I’m just trying to get my foot in the door and see how far I can take this,” he said. “A lot of it will depend on finding a sponsor.”
He’s been pounding a pavement around Nelson trying to find support in local businesses. He expects he’ll need around $8,000 for his race entry fees and travel this season.
If your businesses or organization is interested in sponsoring Lutz, contact him at email@example.com.