Canadian Cycling Magazine

Tristan Lemire

A young student of DH

- By Jake Williams

In 2015, a video of 11-year-old Tristan Lemire shredding downhill in Bromont, Que., went viral. Five years later, he’s part of the Commencal/ Muc-off team, alongside the likes of World Cup winner Amaury Pierron and world champion Myriam Nicole. As Lemire turns 16 in June, he is still one year away from racing World Cups and is excited to learn from his new squad.

Have you spent much time with your new teammates?

In December, I went to France with the team. We had our first camp. I rode the new bike for the first time and met everyone. At the end of February, I was back in Europe for two races. We did the first one in France. While we were preparing for the first World Cup, covid-19 started to spread and everything was cancelled.

What’s that been like for the team?

I came back to Montreal, but some of my teammates are in total lockdown in France, so they can’t do much. Lots of riding the trainer lately.

Looking back, it must feel pretty cool to have that video of yourself at Bromont when you were only 11 years old.

I actually watch it pretty often! I did one this year also. It’s fun to see the evolution. It’s great that we were able to film on the same trails. It’s fun to see how the trails have developed, too. I can’t wait to look back when I’m an old man.

Was it your dream back then to go pro?

I never really thought about being profession­al. Then I started racing. I thought it was pretty fun. Eventually I thought, well maybe I can do this for a living. In Quebec, we have a great cycling culture, but the downhill scene lives in Alberta and B.C. It’s funny, everyone knows each other here at the local races, and there aren’t too many other young riders. Out in B.C., there are lots of us. The first time I went out there and raced, everyone’s like, “Who’s that guy from Quebec?”

At this point, it’s difficult to know when bike racing will be back, but what are your goals for 2020?

First off, to be on a team a year before being eligible to race World Cups is really cool, a huge privilege and honour. I planned to do the biggest races that I could for my age group, including Crankworks and the Canada Cups, especially in Tremblant. Mostly, I’m looking forward to learning a lot from my new teammates, just spending time riding, and getting ready for 2021.

So far, what has stuck out to you being part of a pro downhill team?

Something that I found really interestin­g is all the studying and tuning they do to make sure the bike is working perfectly for each rider. The new bike I’m riding is completely different from my old one, so there was lots of time spent tuning the suspension, making the bike feel familiar.

How do you balance your life racing bikes with trying to be a regular teenager?

I go to a specialize­d high school with other high-performanc­e athletes from all different sports. It’s great because we all share our experience­s and what we’re going through. Next year, I’ll have to do remote or home-schooling because the travel will make things too complicate­d. I definitely want to go to university, eventually. Not too sure how I’m going to do it, but I know I don’t want to stop studying. It seems like as soon as you stop, you never go back.

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