Devinci Global Racing team manager Gabe Fox has attributed Canada's great future in mountain biking to the RECENTLY DEPARTED Steve Smith.

Fox was speaking publicly for the first time since the passing of Smith for an obituary section on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio show when he said: "Young riders always look up to champions and I think he really paved the way. You look at the riders that are between 12 and 16 and Canada's got a really great future in gravity mountain biking and I would attribute a lot of that to Steve."

Steve Smith was Canada's first World Cup overall champion and the only Canadian to podium at a downhill World Championships.

Steve Smith
World Cup #1 Lourdes 2016

Fox has been working with Smith for 11 years and discussed his relationship with Smith in detail in this candid interview. He described Smith as driven and determined, he said: "It's cliched to say but he wanted to win more than anything and he did that. But the coolest thing about him is how humble he was, he didn't roll around like some top dog, he rolled around like he was a 26 year old kid and he did stuff 26 year old kids would do, but he also put his all into his training and made sure he was ready to go. He didn't let being the number one rider in the world get to him at all. He was still Stevie."

Fox ended the interview by saying: "It's unbelievable, it's a huge loss to not only his family and his friends but the cycling world as a whole."

Gabe also gave further details on the motorbike incident and Stevie's rise to the top in the full interview that you can listen to below. The Smith section starts at 17:04.