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Squamish rider Jackson Goldstone takes home the world title

Jackson Goldstone wins junior men's UCI MTB World Cup gold in Slovenia.

As Jackson Goldstone was speeding his mountain bike down the final stretch of the downhill course of the UCI MTB World Cup, he was able to steal a glance at the leaderboard.

The board measured the time of the 17-year-old Squamish rider, who was bidding for a junior world title in Maribor, Slovenia, between Aug. 14 and 15.

A light was on display. A red light would signal a lagging time, while green would indicate he was ahead of the game.

"I'm mostly focusing on sprinting into the finish, but on the jump, I actually glanced up and saw that I was green... all I knew I had to do was I had to keep the sprint going," Goldstone told The Chief.

"It was a bit of relief going across the last jump before finishing and then coming out on the bottom and realizing my time was eight seconds faster than my qualifying run. So it was a pretty amazing feeling."

In the end, Goldstone became the winner, with a time of 00:03:12.122, beating out his second-place opponent Jordan Williams by fractions of a second. Williams finished with a time of 00:03:12.509.

At the end of the day, Goldstone was able to don the striped colours of the Union Cycliste Internationale, and with the Canadian flag draped over his back, he took home the gold medal.

Not bad, for a local biking prodigy who had just finished up his first year of racing in the junior men's category.

"Everything led up to that one run — so three and so minutes, and you know you've had so many months and training just for that three minutes," said Goldstone.

"It was my first ever world champs, so it was a bit of a different experience. I mean, the nerves are crazy...the nerves are pretty bad right at the start, and then the clock ticks down and as soon as you drop in, it's a completely different experience. All the nerves go away, and it's mega focus during the whole way down."

He said a standout part of his run was coming out of the last technical section into a flat motorway with jumps.

As he sped out of the technical section, he said he had a good run — and, therefore, a good shot.

"That was one of the most memorable parts of my run — just being so stoked to lay down the best that I could and it ended up being the best," Goldstone said.

While Goldstone's win has garnered him international attention, he said that he would likely stay in Squamish.

He recalled that he admired European biking runs when he was abroad, while at the same time noting in the back of his mind that Squamish's riding terrain was at least as good.

As for what the future holds, Goldstone is pretty confident he's got a long, bright future ahead of him.

"The future's gonna be pretty sick. I think this is a good start to my pretty long career, I think," he said.

He noted that world-renowned rider Greg Minnaar was still taking home titles at an older age.

"He's still winning world champs at 39. I think I've got some time to go," Goldstone said with a chuckle.