Another One Retires – Justin Leov hangs up his helmet
One of our favourite Leov Vids –
After a long and illustrious career that included three World Cup downhill podiums, an EWS race win and the NZ National Champs downhill title, Justin Leov is calling it a day. In his own words:
Coming to Whistler this year I knew it would be the last roll out here for me. It’s been one hell of a ride but the time is now right for me to hang up my boots. Finale Ligure in October will be my last official race and then I plan to be at home a lot more next year to get into a few projects and more time spent with my family and kids.
My wife and I have just purchased a block of land which used to hold National Downhill and Cross Country races when I was in my DH career. It’s been many years since the tracks were used and with the trees cut from the land two years ago, a lot of work needs to be done to get them reinstated. We have just replanted 28 hectares in trees so now it’s time to get the tracks back in. We plan to have accommodation on the property so anyone wanting to come visit NZ and do some trail building get in contact!
I’ll also be coaching next year so I won’t be completely removed from the industry; two wheels once in the blood stays for life I believe! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have influenced my racing career. My manager Martin Whiteley, the guidance, professionalism and friendship, thank you.
Jason Marsh for the first years of help while in Europe. Teaching me to sneak into hotels in Switzerland to get free showers haha!
Gery Peyer for the two seasons on the Suspension Center team when I got my first World Cup podium, and for putting me up in Bern, Switzerland, for the summer.
Chris Conroy, Hoog and the Yeti Cycles crew for signing me up. Damion Smith for coming and getting me when I broke my collarbone at a race while he was on vacation. The Trek crew, Ray Waxham and the awesome engineers especially Dylan Howes. Mark Fitzsimmons from Fox, many years and some really good times. The Go-Karting and Fitzy’s block moves on the Frenchies will always be burned into my mind! Justin Frey for the tuning, awesome years.
My mechanics over the years especially the late Chris “Monk Dawg” Vazquez, thanks for keeping the bikes running sweet. Ben Arnott for being rad, and soigneur Paul Schlitz you are awesome! Never knew anyone who brought a keyboard to a race and played in the pits while we were practicing.
The Canyon crew, Flo (RIP), Larry for being an incredible mechanic and then stepping up to being Team Manager. Fabien Barel for advice and belief. To all my teammates over the years, these are the people who really make the races good times. Sharing lines and setups and good mates! Thank you. My coach Steve, cheers for keeping me fit and on track.
Adidas Sport eyewear, David and Reini thank you for the support with this diary and everything else you do for our sport. Théâtre des Opérations, Jean-Pierre Coupé for advice help and getting my Diaries translated into five languages.
Lastly my awesome wife Victoria and all the #teamleov family. You can’t do this game without a strong support network at home!
To all the fans. Thank you very much. One last outing, see you all in Finale Ligure!