Practice: The Bone Shaker - EWS Whistler 2019

Aug 9, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  




Once again the Enduro World Series returns to the one venue that really needs no introduction, the mountain biking mecca of Whistler, British Columbia. A classic stop from year one of the EWS, Whistler has carved out a niche and a reputation as being one of the hardest and roughest races of the season. Year in and year out racers have been pushed to their breaking point here, and if it's not bodies breaking down it's the bikes that often limp across the line at the end of the day. And if all that could be packed into a one day format in previous years, just imagine what the organizers have come up with this year where racers for the first time will battle it out over two days.

The biggest change that comes with the extra day added to the 2019 schedule will be the classic Top of the Word stage being run first rather than last. What has almost always been the make or break final stage that often turns the race order on its head will now kick things off of Saturday afternoon. Expect some big time gaps and plenty of mechanicals that will now start the weekend with lots of drama rather than closing it out.

Sunday will see racers tackle 5 more stages in and out of the bike park, including two that will descend from well up in Whistler's Garbanzo zone. So don't go thinking that day 2 will be soft just because Top of the World is no longer in the mix. If anything, the day just got a bit harder as there is now more time for organizers to squeeze longer individual stages into the day than we have traditionally seen in the past. And by incorporating downhill classics like In Deep and No Joke you can be sure this will be one of the roughest EWS rounds of all time, and almost surely one of the longest in terms of actual race time.

After last round we can only hope for more epic battling between Richie Rude and Eddie Masters, and if Sam Hill can have a mechanical free round he should surely be in the mix as well. Current series leader Florian Nicolai is not the first rider you would think of when you think of smashing big rough and long alpine stages, but his skill level on a bike is second to none and this season he has shown very little weakness. In a nutshell, it really is anyone's to win this weekend. For the women, Isabeau Courdurier is in the driver's seat, but with locals like Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau and Miranda Miller both showing podium pace though this season the stage is hopefully set for a close battle.

Welcome to Whistler
Welcome to Whistler.

Classi Whistler
The classic EWS venue.

Usually it s DH bikes that we see smashing down through the classic rocks of In Deep during the annual Garbanzo DH race. This year however it is the Enduro World Series turn to show off what modern trail bikes are capable of.
Usually it's DH bikes that we see smashing down through the classic rocks of In Deep during the annual Garbanzo DH race. This year, however, it is the Enduro World Series' turn to show off what modern trail bikes are capable of.

Current series leader Florian Nicolai blasting the classic gnar on In Deep
Current series leader Florian Nicolai blasting the classic gnar on In Deep.

Dan Wolfe drops in through the fog in between his live Pinkbike social media updates
Dan Wolfe drops in through the fog in between his live Pinkbike social media updates.

Some people have more style than others... And then there is Cody Kelley
Some people have more style than others... And then there is Cody Kelley.

Noga Korem on Stage 4
Noga Korem on Stage 4.

Isabeau makes quick of one of Whistlers more iconic trails at the top off Stage 6
Isabeau makes quick of one of Whistler's more iconic trails at the top off Stage 6.

Isabeau Courdurier has the Whistler lifestyle locked down. Ride rough and rowdy trails all day in the heat and then try to sleep wherever you can
Isabeau Courdurier has the Whistler lifestyle locked down. Ride rough and rowdy trails all day in the heat and then try to sleep wherever you can.

Local hero Jesse Melamed still has a busted hand but is giving it a go all the same. One brush guard and a modified grip and he s ready to grit it out for the fans
Local hero Jesse Melamed still has a busted hand but is giving it a go all the same. One brush guard and a modified grip and he's ready to grit it out for the fans.

Stage 5 is a bit of an awkward one and with a big pedal needed to reach the top it may be the breaking point form many on Sunday
Stage 5 is a bit of an awkward one, and with a big pedal needed to reach the top it may be the breaking point for many on Sunday.

Morgane Charre on the tricky Stage 5
Morgane Charre on the tricky Stage 5.

Miranda Miller finished the last round on the podium and is now battling her competitors on home turf.
Miranda Miller finished the last round on the podium and is now battling her competitors on home turf.

Sam Hill has been in the mix here before but has yet to win in Whistler. But if he wants to keep his championship hopes alive the top step in almost a must this weekend
Sam Hill has been in the mix here before but has yet to win in Whistler. But if he wants to keep his championship hopes alive the top step is almost a must this weekend

Curtis Keene is here racing his first EWS of 2019.

Katy Winton slowly working her way back to full fitness after injury sidelined her in the middle of the season
Katy Winton slowly working her way back to full fitness after injury sidelined her in the middle of the season.

Stage s 2 and 3 are outside the bike park and feature the more natural terrain you d expect to find buried in the British Columbia woods
Stages 2 and 3 are outside the bike park and feature the more natural terrain you'd expect to find buried in the British Columbia woods.

Adrien Dailly riling turns on Golden Boner... Yes that is the name of the trail used for Stage 3
Adrien Dailly railing turns on Golden Boner... Yes, that is the name of the trail used for Stage 3.

The summit of Whistler Peak. So high even the birds are close to the ground
The summit of Whistler Peak. So high even the birds are close to the ground.

The views from the top are not too shabby
The views from the top are not too shabby.

Last round s winner Eddie Masters on Top of the World
Last round's winner, Eddie Masters, on Top of the World.

Bex Baraona with over 1000m to go before she reaches the bottom of what will be Stage 1
Bex Baraona with over 1000m to go before she reaches the bottom of what will be Stage 1.

Spencer Rathkamp boosting some Whistler rocks on Stage 1
Spencer Rathkamp boosting some Whistler rocks on Stage 1.

Hugo Pigeon leads out his teammate on the classic Top of the World stage. This year however it will nee run as a stand alone stage on Saturday rather than the finale of Sunday
Hugo Pigeon leads out his teammate on the classic Top of the World stage. This year it will run as a standalone stage on Saturday rather than the finale of Sunday.

Kevin Miquel battling the rocks on what will be the opening stage of this years Whistler EWS
Kevin Miquel battling the rocks on what will be the opening stage.

Richie Rude has always excelled in Whistler and long rough stages and will most definitely be the danger man this weekend
Richie Rude has always excelled in Whistler and long rough stages and will most definitely be the danger man this weekend.

Matt Walker down a start straight that makes Fort Willian look like a flow trail
Matt Walker down a start straight that makes Fort William look like a flow trail.

Jill Kintner returns to EWS racing this weekend and will be looking to back up her podium performance from earlier in the season
Jill Kintner returns to EWS racing this weekend and will be looking to back up her podium performance from earlier in the season.

Mark Scott has been in the podium in Whistler before and will be looking to mix it up at the front again this year
Mark Scott has been on the podium in Whistler before and will be looking to mix it up at the front again this year.

Whistler is busting out the classics for this years EWS round with Stage 6 doing down In Deep and this section of No Joke being used for Stage 4
Whistler is busting out the classics for this year's EWS round with Stage 6 going down In Deep and this section of No Joke being used for Stage 4.

Robin Wallner through some of that iconic Whistler fog on Stage 4
Robin Wallner through some of that iconic Whistler fog on Stage 4.

It was cloudy and overcast all morning at the base of the mountain but it was a different world up top
It was cloudy and overcast all morning at the base of the mountain, but it was a different world up top.

Alternate and clever lines on Stage 4 from Youn Deniaud.

Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau trying to find some elusive traction on the polished rocks of Stage 4
Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau trying to find some elusive traction on the polished rocks of Stage 4.

Newly crowned Canadian Enduro Champ Remi Gauvin on Stage 3
Newly crowned Canadian Enduro Champ Remi Gauvin on Stage 3.

Mckay Vezina is back between the EWS tape for the first time since the opening rounds of the season
Mckay Vezina is back between the EWS tape for the first time since the opening rounds of the season.

Keegan Wright up and over one of the many rocks rolls lurking in the Whistler woods
Keegan Wright up and over one of the many rocks rolls lurking in the Whistler woods.

Deep in the woods on Stage 2 and things are more than a little dark
Deep in the woods on Stage 2 and things are more than a little dark.

Dmitri Tordo making quick work of Whistler's rocks and roots.

Steep and natural on Stage 3.

Look before you leap...

Because you never know what lurks beneath.

Welcome to Canada



9 Comments

  • + 37
 Cody Kelley...
  • + 10
 Is a style master!!!
  • + 3
 right click, save in downloads Smile
  • + 6
 Oh!!! The new Specialized Enduro 2020!
  • + 5
 Looks like a ses....tower
  • + 4
 Go Huge Pigeon!
  • - 1
 When are we going to see the 2020 spesh enduro?
  • + 1
 You can go see it now at Vital's photo section, just search "Specialized enduro 2020"

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