‘The Canadian Chainsaw’: Downhill cyclist Steve Smith dies after motorcycle accident
A downhill mountain bike legend from Vancouver Island has died following a motorcycle accident.
Former world cup champion Steve Smith passed away Tuesday morning in hospital after he suffered massive head trauma from a motocross crash near his home in Nanaimo over the weekend.
The 26-year-old competed on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit.
Smith won the world cup title in 2013 after winning three World Cup events – making him the most successful Canadian gravity racer of all time.
Smith, also known as the “Canadian Chainsaw,” was trying to make his way back to the top this season after injuries kept him on the sidelines for parts of the past two seasons.
He placed second at his last race in Lourdes, France in April.
An outpouring of condolences have been shared on social media.
“Extremely devastating loss. A true Vancouver island Legend, proper Canuck and incredible person,” professional cyclist Ryder Hesjedal tweeted.
Really upset to hear about Stevie Smith this am. Proper Vancouver island boy. Too young to go. RIP Stevie. https://t.co/5cXYNekaaf— Ryder Hesjedal (@ryder_hesjedal) May 11, 2016
“He was definitely the best downhill mountain biker Canada has ever known,” Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s high performance director, said in a statement.
Donations can be made to the Stevie Smith Legacy Fund here. Funds raised will go towards helping aspiring young athletes.
A celebration of Smith’s life will take place on May 21 at 1 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Convention Centre in Nanaimo.