Seven of the top-15 Pro Men were from Canada, with season's best results for Remi Gauvin, Jack Menzies, Evan Wall, Carter Krasny, and McKay Vezina. In the Pro Women's race, there were three Canadians in the top 15 for the first time this year with Andreane Lanthier Nadeau, Miranda Miller, and Georgia Astle, while the entire U21 Men's top-5 was Canadian. In the U21 women's category, series leader Emmy Lan had to sit out her home race after a crash in practice left her with a separated shoulder, but Lily Boucher brought it home for the Canadians with a fifth place.
Compare that to EWS Tweed Valley, where there were just two Canadian men in the top-15 and one Canadian in the top-15 in the women's race. The most Canadian men we've seen in the top-15 so far this year was less than half at three, while every women's race has had just Andreane Lanthier Nadeau making it into the top-15.
2. Fox's new electronic suspension has a win before it's even been released.
EWS winner Jesse Melamed rode Fox's new electronic suspension to its maiden win in Whistler. Before it’s even been released (or been given a name), Fox’s new electronic suspension has secured an Enduro World Series win, something that RockShox’s athletes on Flight Attendant have yet to do, despite the system being officially released in October 2021. Women's race winner Harriet Harnden's Trek Slash is compatible with the new electronic offering from RockShox, but Harnden chose to ride a coil shock for Whistler.
Mike Levy and Matt Beer tagged along to watch Jesse Melamed try the electronic air-sprung shock for the first time in Squamish earlier this summer. You can watch that video here.
3. Pinkbike Academy alumni had career-best finishes.
It was an incredible weekend of racing for Pinkbike Academy alumni. Evan Wall claimed his best-ever EWS finish with a 12th place, knocking Sam Hill out of the hot seat and holding down the hot seat until the last half of the top-30 men came down, Emmett Hancock took second place in the U21 Men’s category, just ten seconds off the win, and Flo Espiñeira took third place in the Pro Women’s race. Season one finalist Jo Peters also won the EWS80 on Saturday.
Filming for season three will get underway later this month in Big White and we've got another great crop of riders that will be contending for the win.
4. Mechanicals played a big part in this round for top contenders.
It was heartbreak in the final stage of the day for Andreane Lanthier Nadeau and Richie Rude as they had their podium hopes dashed after mechanicals. For the second year in a row, Andreane Lanthier Nadeau was leading the race right up until the final stage and it looked like she might finally be able to clinch her first Enduro World Series win, despite an ankle injury sustained in the week leading up to the race. Racing was tight so it was no done deal, but a flat at the end of Stage 4 had her scrambling to make the tight time cut before the final stage of the day, and while she was able to fix her tire trailside in time to drop in for the final stage of the day, a harder than usual air pressure and likely added fatigue and stress contributed to a crash during the stage. She would finish fifth on the day.
As for Richie Rude, he was sitting in a close second for the entire day, and with the final stage taking top place finishers over eight minutes, a win could have been in the cards. Unfortunately, a flat partway down the long stage meant that he would finish a distant 44th, over three and a half minutes back. Jesse Melamed also suffered a flat, on the third stage of the day, which had him take his worst finish of the day, a ninth place. Luckily, he was able to reset for the second half of the race and make a podium at home a reality once again.
Richie Rude was leading the overall at 1615 points to Jesse Melamed's 1535 points, but he slips to second in the overall standings with that result. Melamed now leads with 2080 points to Rude's 1785 as the racers head to the United States for the next two rounds.
Clint Trahan photo
5. The women’s racing was tighter than the men’s for the first time this season.
The time difference between first and third in the women's race was the same as the men's in Tweed Valley, a very close 14 seconds. In Petzen-Jamnica, just 15 seconds separated the men's podium, while 45 seconds separated the women's podium. In Val di Fassa, third place in the men's field was 26 seconds behind first, while the women's podium was separated by 37 seconds.
In Whistler however, just 11 seconds separated third-placed Flo Espiñeira from race winner Harriet Harnden. In the men's race, Remi Gauvin took third place, but finished 52 seconds behind his teammate Jesse Melamed.
Other facts: • The World Cup DH and XC seasons are wrapping up, but EWS Whistler merely marked the halfway point to the season, with four races still to go. • We’re still waiting on a Mike vs Mike, but we were treated to an Alicia vs Christina showdown in the EWS100 on Saturday. Unfortunately, Christina sustained an injury on Stage 2 and was unable to complete the race and so Alicia took top honours in this round, but we’re already looking forward to the next match up!