2012 might be the most consistent season so far for Peachland mountain biker Evan Guthrie.
He’s taken part in every Team Canada racing project so far this season, with trips to Texas, Mexico, Europe and parts of North America.
Now the 21-year-old is looking to cap off the season with an exclamation point with another Team Canada venture, this time to Saalfelden, Austria for the 2012 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships.
“I’ve done quite a few trips this season and I’ve tried to be at all the big races,” said Guthrie, who will compete in the Under-23 men’s cross country mountain bike race. “I’d like to finish of the season on a high note. I’d like all the work I’ve done to pay off. I’ve put in some of the best work of my life this year.”
Among Guthrie’s best results this season was a fifth place finish in the Under-23 category at the Pan American cycling championships in Mexico, the best result ever for a U-23 Canadian rider at a European World Cup Race in France as well as his best ever World Cup finish, a 13th at the North American World Cup.
It’s all leading up to the World Championships for Guthrie who says he will give everything he has at the event.
“I want to put together a good race and finish the race having given it my all,” he said, prior to flying to Austria on Wednesday. “I don’t want to finish and say ‘I could have done more.’ I want to finish and leave it all on the course and hopefully that will be good enough.”
Dangling in the near distance for Guthrie is some federal funding. A finish inside the top 10 at the worlds would give him three years of funding through Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program, something that would help alleviate the costs of participating in his sport.
As a non-carded athlete, Guthrie has to pay for his flight, accommodation and meals for the trip and works part-time at the Bike Barn in Penticton to help offset costs.
“That would be huge (to get funded),” he said. “If you didn’t have to work you could train more and maybe get some more results. But you have to work. I’m just paying my dues and trying to make it happen. If you want something bad enough it will happen.”
While Guthrie isn’t focussed on securing some federal funding, he does have long term goals in the sport. At just 21 he says the next three Summer Olympics are within reach if he continues to progress and still loves the sport.
“That’s definitely the number one thing,” he said of the Olympics. “I want to do everything I can to make it happen. It would be great and I would be pretty happy. Things are slowly progressing. Things are going in the right direction. If things weren’t going in the right direction I think it would be tough. But the fun part is trying to make it work. It’s not fun if things come really easy. Seeing all the work pay off is the great thing.”
Guthrie will race in the Under-23 world championships on Sept. 7 and you can follow the results on www.canadiancyclist.com.