Very few make the leap from racing at the provincial and national level to competing at the World Cup, but that’s exactly what Rossland mountain bike racer Bodhi Kuhn will be doing in 2022.
As the 2021 overall BC Cup Downhill champion, Kuhn had an impressive season with times competitive with the elite ranks in Canada.
On two occasions, his times were second fastest overall, including the professionals. This has drawn the attention of some of the fastest brands in the mountain bike industry, including TREK bikes and SRAM.
“It’s an honour to receive support from two of the biggest brands in mountain biking, TREK and SRAM,” said the 17-year-old Kuhn. “They’ve stepped up their support to make it easier for me to get to Europe several times this summer to compete on the world stage.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and I look forward to showing I belong there.”
In 2019, Kuhn won every downhill race he entered in the 12-14 category. Due to Covid-19, there was no racing in 2020. In 2021, he won all but one race he entered in the 15-16 junior expert category.
He was unable to compete in the National Championships due to injury but bounced back to win the final two races of the season. In two races, he also had faster times than Jackson Goldstone, the 2021 Junior World Champion, and overall Junior World Cup winner.
“I am confident that I can be competitive at the World Cup level,” said Kuhn. “But it will take some adjustments to racing in unfamiliar places on the other side of the planet. That will be the hardest part, just getting used to the travel, the schedule, the diverse cultures. It’s intimidating and extremely exciting at the same time.”
In the off season, he has been focused on his training with renowned World Cup and motocross trainer, Todd Schumluck of PerformX. When not training, he is also a sponsored free skier focusing on film projects at Red Resort and around the Kootenays. His other passions include snowmobiling and dirt biking.
The World Cup downhill season is comprised of eight races, not including World Championships, taking place in Scotland, Austria, France, Slovenia, and Italy. He will also be racing in Snowshoe, Vermont, and the famed track at Mont St. Anne in Quebec.
His goal is to be consistently in the top five with the objective of landing a full factory sponsorship – along with pit support and assistance for travel and accommodation – for the 2023 season.
“I’ll be travelling with my parents and getting some pit support from TREK and SRAM, which will be an immense help,” added Kuhn. “Racing the World Cup, especially from a small town in the Kootenays of BC, is no small endeavour.
“It’s a massive financial and time commitment, and I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have my mom and dad’s help to achieve my dream.”
Kuhn will be travelling to Tennessee in early February to test with SRAM to get his bike and suspension fine tuned, followed by training in Squamish and the North Shore in early March.
The first World Cup race of the season goes in Lordes, France, March 26-27.