With a pedigree that includes winning the Queen Stage at the Pietra Ligure EWS and regular podium positions at the Crankworx Summer Series, Rhys Verner has emerged as one of the most promising talents on the international enduro scene. And with his recent signing to box-fresh, all-BC outfit Forbidden Synthesis, the 23-year-old Squamish local is raring to go for gold once again.
Comfort zones are illusions, as Rhys Verner found out for himself when ex-Kona teammate Cory Wallace encouraged him to ride a 7-stage mountain bike race in and around Nepal's Annapurna Circuit. "Yea, that was back in 2019," Rhys explained during a recent pre-season catchup call at 7mesh. "I was already hemming and hawing about doing the race, but Cory gave me the confidence to fly out and give it a go."
Weeks later, struggling to sleep in a windy hut high up in the Nepalese mountains, Rhys had an awakening: he could do this. The racing and daily repetition were hard, but he was adapting. The cold? Well, he was from Canada - no problem there. "Knowing that I couldn't leave, that there was no easy exit was a weird sort of freedom. And yea, looking back now, the whole experience was a huge confidence booster that stuck with me and helped me see that no matter what I think my limits are, I can always go further. For racing, I can't think of a better lesson."