BRITISH COLUMBIA

Steve Smith, Vaea Verbeek win Canadian mountain bike downhill championship

07/13/2014 11:55 EDT | Updated 09/12/2014 05:59 EDT
SUN PEAKS, B.C. - Steve Smith of Nanaimo, B.C., and Vaea Verbeek of North Vancouver, B.C., won the men's and women's titles at the 2014 Canadian mountain bike downhill championships on Sunday.

Smith, the overwhelming favorite to win the race, finished in three minutes, 26.73 seconds — less than two seconds faster than Kyle Sangers of Kingston, Ont. Remi Gauvin of Nanoose Bay, B.C., placed third.

"It was a lot for me this year, especially coming back from injury in the spring and going straight to racing the World Cup," Smith said. "This was a great race for me to come and just go fast, putting some good time on the bike. The track was great."

Verbeek took the women's race in 3:56.00. Casey Brown of Revelstoke, B.C., was second while Jaime Hill of Pemberton, B.C., finished third.

Verbeek was competing in just her second event since lacerating her liver two months ago.

"I did not have many expectations as to my performance coming back from injury just last week, and I think that's what helped me this weekend," she said. "I just wanted to ride, and go as fast as possible."