4 Things We Learned From the Silver Star Enduro - Crankworx Summer Series

Jul 30, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
1. Full time enduro racers made a steady start.

With the Trophy of Nations finishing about 10 months ago, the top flight enduro racers seemed like they were still working through the gears coming into their first race of the season. The Rocky Mountain Team was expected to dominate the podium at this race but with the best result coming from Andreane Lanthier Nadeau in fourth, it wasn't to be.

Instead, the men's race was won by a downhill racer in Finn Iles and the women's by a racer whose last EWS race was at the tail end of 2018 in Casey Brown. We suspect that the Rocky team was taking things a bit steady given that Zermatt is still scheduled to run at the end of August but it will be interesting to see if they try to regain some ground over the next two weekends of enduro racing.
Andreane Lanthier Nadeau ALN

2. Trail bikes triumphed at Silver Star.

We know how hard predictions can be, just take a look back at our efforts form the past few seasons trying to guess the top three of World Cup and EWS races for proof of that. Unfortunately, one Pinkbiker stuck their neck out on our bike check article and said, "Thoughts and prayers for Finn's Stumpy." Well, the Specialized ripper proved him wrong and rode to a 14 second victory using a stiff downhiller's set up. The same story was true in the women's race where Casey Brown elected to ride the Trek Remedy over the Slash that's more commonly used by the team.

Of course, we've seen riders race on smaller trail bikes at EWS rounds too, including a Stumpjumper under Jared Graves, but bike choice may be a factor to watch in future Crankworx Series enduros where the courses are about half the length and elevation of EWS races on bike park trails.
Finn Iles

3. Jump lines make for tough stages for enduro racers

There was one stage that everyone was talking about in the finish area, stage 3. It was the longest of the race and took place on the Rock Star/Pro Star jump trails. We often see long Alpine goat paths or fresh cut backcountry trails in enduro races but this was a totally different beast packed with jumps and high speed berms. In fact, the EWS purposefully avoids jumps in its races so that competitors in the EWS 100 & EWS 80 races aren't too intimidated by the courses.

This made for uncharted territory for some of the enduro riders who are more used to endo-ing switchbacks than squashing tables and scrubbing doubles. Kasper Wooley described it as "not my thing" while Jesse Melamed said he was flat landing too many of the jumps to go for the win. Instead, this was a stage that favoured the downhill and Crankworx riders with strong results for Iles, Verbeeck, Fitzergald and Van Steenbergen. With the remaining rounds of the Crankwrox Summer Series all set in bike parks, this kind of trail could shake things up some more as we head through the series.

4. Strava times decimated at Silver Star

If you're a Silver Star local and think you're fast, you may want to check your Strava again. The race on Tuesday saw the local times smashed as pros turned up and showed exactly why they are paid to ride bikes in the first place.

Miranda Miller had the best afternoon on the ride tracking app with 10 QOMs but there was another 4 for ALN, 3 KOMs for Jesse Melamed and 2 for Kasper Wooley. Bear in mind that the riders were hitting most of these stages with minimal practice and that neither of the winners were tracking their rides and you begin to realise just how impressive that is.


Regions in Article
Silver Star Mountain Resort


55 Comments

  • 89 3
 Noooo not my Strava times!!!
  • 41 2
 Amazing! I love seeing comparisons on how fast pros actually are vs. the average-joe locals. It's a guilty pleasure to see all those proud (even arrogant) local KOMs destroyed! Smile
  • 3 1
 Yep it certainly was a sport made by and for the elite like POLO, annoying peasant's
  • 5 0
 @jeffythermo: relax dude, let them have their bit of glee. Those of us filthy peasants who ride for fun, not for strava, will always be there.
  • 5 5
 Jesse only beat the “average joe local” who held the KOM by 2 seconds. I would hardly say that it was “decimated”
  • 6 1
 Thanks for the shout out
  • 4 0
 poor Isaac got beat by 2 seconds Frown
  • 4 0
 @varstar22: think about what finn would've gotten
  • 22 0
 @Thelittleweasel: I'm not saying these guys aren't fast, because they are freaking amazing. I'm just saying don't trash local riders who don't get paid to ride. A lot of these guys are working day jobs 9-5, 5 days a week and still put up times within a few seconds of the pros???? Pretty impressive I'd say.
  • 5 0
 @DebLau23: It is impressive for sure.. I look up to dudes who can top the charts, but I also feel like they take Strava a bit too seriously.. It's just a social media app after all. On a side note, I am a bit jealous that I don't get KOMs, hence the guilty pleasure. Beer
  • 4 1
 @vincelowry: for sure impressive but remember that these guys probably barely look at the course before riding it
  • 31 0
 Man that stumpy comment on the bike checks is just getting better and better
  • 22 7
 I feel like there's a lot of hate on Strava usage lately and I can understand both viewpoints, but c'mon. There's nothing wrong with a little local competition. If you don't use it, whatever, shred with no trail data. But, if you do it's fun to compare to those around you. I've found strava to be a really cool tool to track rides and keep your own personal competition going. Still have the free version BTW
  • 11 2
 Ebikes are making some KOMs pointless. Strava is best as a training tool, that said there are are a lot of better platforms available
  • 3 0
 @skiwenric: I made a bunch of Ebike segments at my local trail areas and now the Ebikers track their rides as Ebike. They like getting the top 10's (even if there has only been 8 Ebikes to date on the segment). I noticed as soon as they had some segments show under Ebike they stopped tracking under bike. I guess many don't realize that bike segments don't just show up on Ebike till they are made from an Ebike marked ride. That said, today I saw a pro post a motorcycle ride on Ebike on Strava, taking four Ebike QOM's.. haha.
  • 3 1
 @skiwenric: e-bikes have their own section on strava so our KOM"S are ok. Unless you have some Joey not switched over
  • 7 2
 I don't really understand the Strava hate. It's just another social media company where you share stoke with your buddies. The difference is all the post are bike rides and all the comments are about bikes. It is not a real race board because it is wildly inaccurate, but that doesn't make it any less of a fun way to share my rides with my buddies and have a little good natured ribbing over fast times.
  • 8 0
 Strava hate isn't anything new. It's been there from the beginning. Hell, it's warred inside me. Used it. Didn't use it. Used it again. Quit for good. I just found I ride differently with strava running. I'm more of a hit-every-jib-and-jump sort of rider versus balls to the wall speed all the time. Found myself skipping fun stuff just to lay down a time when I was on it. Now I don't. Stopping in the middle of a dh (to the side of course) to say hi, figure out a better line, or do some quick maintenance doesn't bother me anymore and it used to kill me. Course I'm almost 50 now so I had my bendy-crashy-fast-fun years and much prefer going bigger than faster. Some riders don't, and never will. If I were one of them, I'd have never quit. Great app for some. Unnecessary for others I guess.
  • 10 1
 As a trailbuilder my problem with Strava is, that people cut corners and straighten lines, making the trails less fun and interesting, just to get faster times. Taken to the extreme, the trails end up one big circle, and you might as well ride a racetrack.
  • 3 0
 I only use Strava to compare my own times, you have no idea if anyone else has been cutting the course or similar. I just like to know that I've improved. It's nice to see how you come in the overall rankings but it's not that important to me.
  • 16 1
 5. Finn is fast as fuck
  • 4 0
 Definitely, he is one to watch. He can win the overall in the future.
  • 5 0
 I forgot the dudes only 20. Definitely a decent shot at being a regular WC DH podium type in the next few years
  • 6 1
 It really surprised me to hear the bits about jump lines. I figured professional racers wouldn't be too bothered by a jump line, but I guess I figured wrong. Also, aren't a lot of EWS100 riders either: aspiring pro riders, aged out pro riders, semi pro or cat1 racers?? Seems like all of them should be able to handle a good ole fashioned jump line no?
  • 27 0
 The problem with bike park jump lines in races is that these guys/gals are going way faster than trail speed, so if they hit the jumps normally they massively overshoot to flat (see Jesse's video) which robs speed/control or breaks your bike. So they have to squash/scrub the jumps which uses a lot of energy when you do it 50 times in a run combined with sprinting.
  • 2 0
 @gramboh: Great points and that video of Jesse is crazy when you listen to him work from top to bottom. The effort is insane. It really reminded me what a different level some of these professional athletes are at. Jump trails are built with certain speed parameters in mind and these guys are going way faster than that typically.
  • 1 0
 The EWS top 100 still left some national riders out of it placing 120 or so st EWS Ainsa 2016... So I guess everyone knows or should know pretty well how to jump.... EWS riders just should be the most complete riders out there... Remy Metalier just proved you can even rampage... So an extremme hard-line Enduro wouldn't be bad idea I guess..
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: that's a good point.
  • 2 0
 They weren't bothered by the jump line so much as found it difficult to set a race time on.
  • 7 0
 Since I never used strava, these pro guys can never be sure they beat my times Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Excited they are doing this and love that these riders stepped out of their comfort zones and risked a bit of their brand to race outside their comfort zones. I do love the concept of like an Ultimate Fighting version of biking where all riders see who stacks up across the disciplines. I would love to see more of that- I know Crankworx tries to do that but it seems a little different with the range of riders in each contest and fields being dominated by specialty riders in those disciplines. This format of a certain number of riders racing all disciplines is pretty cool- kinda like the way it was waaaaay back in the day.
  • 2 0
 Strava times are a lottery, is just a game. I have some KOMs, in dry, clean, no people around days. As soon as a better rider has the same oportunities than me, the KOMs will be gone. Dont take Strava serious, To be a KOM only mean that no better rider was at your local area in the same conditions than you.
  • 1 0
 Having ridden the Okanagan and The Shore for over 30 years(35 in the Okanagan ) -the more XC Ish weapon will always be the smart move in the Okanagan - we would go 2.1 front and back or 1.9 back in the Okanagan all the time back in the day . Its way more buff ( and always dry) with out the non- stop stairs ,chutes , stepdowns and roots of The Shore. Plus the clay dust / silt that can be 2-3 inches thick there meaning the dh tire was 2 times extra slow with no braking benefits.
  • 3 0
 What happened on Miranda's run? Thought she would have schooled everyone and come out on top...
  • 2 0
 I don’t care what anyone says, she’s still an animal! Such a character.
  • 2 2
 5- “Made for TV race series really made to be recapped the next day and on Instagram stories of the athletes.”

Disappointed that the schedule showed the race being broadcast live today only to find out 10 minutes before the broadcast that the race is done and they will broadcast it tomorrow....
  • 1 0
 What happens if fast amateurs don't use strava, like today's winners didn't? Does that mean strava is a time suck? Or fast isn't measurable?

Please science me
  • 2 0
 How many people actually use strava at the bike park?
  • 9 4
 How many people actually care?
  • 1 0
 Plenty of people uses Strava in bikeparks to win elevation meters..sad.
  • 2 0
 That footage was a wonder to behold..
  • 2 0
 Looks more like DH than Enduro to me.
  • 1 0
 5. Whoever wrote this article did so on a mobile phone. I recognize that weird autocorrect of "Alpine" anywhere.
  • 1 0
 @varstar22: give him ten rides and youll see the interest rate kick-in
  • 3 3
 Shout to Remi for stealing my KOMs.. ????????
  • 1 0
 You don’t care anyways.
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