The Speed Breed

While all the action happens between the tape, there’s plenty of fun to be had beyond. Bromont spectators keep the energy levels high on the sidelines. Photo: Gabriel Distilio

The Speed Breed Bromont's Racing Pedigree

In the context of Quebec as a whole, it’s impossible to ignore Montreal’s 4.2 million people, more than half the province’s total population.

Montreal is a modern, world-class city, and though it might lack some of Quebec City’s classic European feel, it more than makes up for it with its food, nightlife and massive urban parks. For mountain bikers living here, there’s an outlet less than an hour’s drive from the city that’s been cranking out high-level riders for almost 30 years: Bromont.

The mountain was the first in Canada to host the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, back in 1992. Since then, it has fielded multiple World Cup racing events, most recently in 2009, and its fast, rocky trails are home to one of the healthiest racing scenes in eastern North America. Here, the regular pace of many local riders borders on that of a race. Segments from the movies Earthed 1 and Earthed 5 were filmed here, as was a scene from Anthill Films’ new feature movie, Return to Earth. Underscoring Bromont’s reputation for high-speed glory is the fact that many World Cup racers consider it a mandatory stop when traveling between North American race venues.

At Bromont, the spirit of racing comes alive at the local B-MAAXX series. This year’s schedule featured three downhill and three enduro races, including a provincial championship and a stop on the Canadian Enduro Series. The result is a culture of speed. Every Quebecois racer in the top 10 of the Canada Cup is a Bromont local. It’s one of the country’s healthiest riding communities, comprised of riders and organizers who understand the value of a structured environment to galvanize a scene and put local heroes on the podium. In such victorious moments, all the governance, advocacy and trailbuilding that go into supporting this community manifest themselves. By enabling riders to become champions and role models, racers can help define our sport and act as stewards of a way of life.

One such rider is 15-year-old Tristan Lemire, a Bromont local who is helping to bridge Quebec’s illustrious past with its promising future. One of Canada’s fastest teenagers, Lemire is a product of Bromont’s unique environment of flat-out speed. Shortly after his first mountain bike outing with his father, Lemire was exposed to racing, first as a spectator and eventually as a competitor. Growing up in such a race-focused culture, surrounded by some of Canada’s fastest downhillers, Lemire has developed both a taste for speed and the surgical precision that only comes from spending time between the tape.

“Every race in Bromont brings pretty much all the riders here together,” Lemire says. “It’s always a good vibe. It helps the community.”

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