Kona Gravity team rider Tristan Lemire is making his mark in the downhill world. At just 14 years-old, Lemire is no stranger to the top step of the podium. His most recent victory came at last weekend’s ProGRT in Mountain Creek, where he was racing in the Junior Expert category. That means he is putting in faster times than kids several years older. His time of 2:19.18 would have put him in 17th place in the pro elite category, which is pretty incredible considering the level of racing taking place in that category.

We caught up with Lemire to ask about the experience at Mountain Creek and his plans for the future. Make no mistake, he is one to watch!

“There are only 4 Pro GRTs this year on schedule, so clearly the vibe was great and everyone was stoked to race. Some of the world’s best riders were competing. And aside from some afternoon rain on the Friday, the weather was perfect. On my side, I felt much better  and confident than at the first Pro GRT in Tennessee back in March, where after a long winter without riding, I headed into the race with a new 29 inch wheel bike riding in the worst weather conditions possible. With lots of training and riding on my new bike, I was definitely ready to improve upon performance in Tennessee.”

After finishing 2nd in seedings, the highlight was definitely putting down a great race run and finding out I won the race, beating my seeding time by 6 seconds! I am also quite satisfied with my progression to date on my new 29-inch wheel bike. The only way to really gage this is in the context of a race! I am also confident that I will continue progressing throughout the season as I still don’t feel 100 %!

The crew at Mountain Creek put together an amazing track. It was perfect: fast, technical and mostly dry by race time. Pretty much how I like it! As it always does, the track changed lots throughout the 3 days, from muddy to mud to bone dry; this always makes it hard on us because it is like riding and learning a new track every day. Overall, despite the pressure of the race, every lap was just pure fun. On race day, when the track was at its driest, it made me think of the track at the Nationals track in Panorama, BC, a track that I also like very much.”

So what’s in store for Tristan in the future?
“My long term goal is definitely to race on the World Cup, first as a Junior and then as Men, and earn few podiums. From there, anything can happen. However, for the moment, I am just taking it year by year, focusing on the short term, enjoying the chance that I have to ride bikes as much as I do and loving every minute of it.”

From all of us at Kona, congrats, Tristan! We are excited to watch you progress through the ranks!