West Kelowna’s Team Telemark Racing star athlete Garrett Siever is representing Team Canada at the U.S. Supertour race series.
The grade 12 student from Mount Boucherie Secondary School is holding his own at his first big international race series in New York and Vermont in a variety of high-profile races from Jan. 29 until Feb.6.
Even though he is racing men up to three years his senior, Siever placed 29th in the classic sprint race and 28th in the mass start 10km, in fields of more than 150 talented athletes.
The competition is much tighter than he is used to and said that he has not been able to use his regular race tactics.
“You’ve just gotta hammer, basically,” said Siever.
He said that to compete in these fast races you have to be aggressive and really hold your line.
The mass start race was exciting, he said.
With 152 athletes all starting at the same time, the race for positioning can get rough as athletes are quickly funneled into a bottleneck.
In these intense, close-quarter races, breaking poles and crashing is a big risk, says Siever. On his second lap, Siever saw the carnage of five broken poles from skiers who did not fare as well as him.
However, his season has not been without speedbumps. Siever had to work through a persistent hip flexor injury that sidelined him earlier this season. Thanks to his team of support, Siever reported that his hip is feeling strong and healthy.
Siever said that he is proud to represent Team Telemark racing and to be wearing the Team Canada race suit. His international experience is not over, as Siever still has multiple races slated for this coming weekend (Feb. 4-6).