Photo Epic: Enduro World Series Round 5 - Crankworx Whistler 2013

Aug 12, 2013
by Margus Riga  
  Tyler Morland, SRAM's mountain bike PR and Media Manager, tinkers with his race bike before the start of the day. Morland didn't realize that you're supposed to slow down when you transition from racer to industry fodder, placing a solid eighteenth overall in a stacked field. His final stage time of 23:13, good enough for the fourth fastest time, played a big role in that result, although having home trail advantage doesn't hurt either.

  A massive wooden ramp painted blood red served as the race's ceremonial start, with riders rolling down it and straight into a gondola ride to the top of the mountain. The ramp wasn't quite steep enough to serve as a squirrel catcher, but it's safe to say that if its steepness threw you off you probably shouldn't continue on.

  Close quarters, but at least everyone's riding gear was still fresh at this point. Jesse Melamed and Dre Hestler of the Rocky Mountain Altitude Enduro Team have a date with a woman known as Khyber, a tricky girl to read when just cruising, let alone hitting the trail at race pace. Melamed sat in sixth place overall at the end of the day, well ahead of some much higher profile racers.

  It's a safe bet to assume that none of the racers wanted it to rain, but everyone was surely happy to see some cloud cover that took the edge off of the oppressive heat of the last month.

  Is this real life? Whistler's Top of the World trail is very much real, serving as the start for the day's final stage that routed racers down some of the mountain's hairiest trails all the way to the village. Hand status at this point: satisfactory. Hand status at the finish line: robot claw. You know what we're talking about if you've been here.

  While mid-weight tires made a lot of sense for the majority of the day's racing, the final stage really did call for some proper DH rubber. Many of those who didn't believe that ended up with punctures that put an end to their run, a tough break after a hard day of racing.

  Alpine goodness on Top of the World. This is no time to take in the views, though, as shit is about to get real.

  Whistler's bermed and jump filled runs get the most press, but there is plenty of proper terrain to be had both in and out of the park. Remember to keep it between the tape, though.

  Trek World Racing's Justin Leov made the switch from full-time World Cup downhiller to enduro racer this season, choosing to ride little bikes at crazy fast speeds instead of riding big bikes at crazy fast speeds. He took his 140mm travel Remedy to twentieth overall.

  Fabien Barel had a controversial few days in Whistler, with a five minute time penalty being added to his overall result. Riders were not permitted to shuttle the course during practice, including between the village and the bottom of the climbs just out of town, and the sanction was due to some alleged motorized help during the prior day. The details have yet to come out, but expect an interview with Barel explaining his side of the story soon. For the record, he would have placed third overall had he not been penalized. Clearly frustrated, he rode like a man possessed, winning stage three and setting the third fastest time during the first two stages. A fourth in stage four and second in stage five show what could have been.

  It could be any trail, on any day, on any mountain. But it isn't, it's the World Enduro Series race at Crankworx and you can bet that the tiny racer in this picture is red lining up that small rise. While there wasn't a ton of climbing during the timed stages, even the mellowest of uphill pitches can send a racer into lactic shock when they hit them after ten minutes of pinning it during a race run. All told, there was 2,800ft of climbing, the large majority of it coming during transfer stages.

  This ain't no one-line Scalextric track. With long stages and wide taping, racers were able to pick from multiple lines on much of the track.

  Lucky plate number? Steven Mathews hopes so.

  Keeping it between the tape, a racer emerges from the shadows.

  The trails were loose and dry, but a morning thunderstorm kept the dust down to a tolerable level.

  Alvaro Hidolgo drops into yet another steep and rooty section of trail. The course was unrelenting, with technical challenges lurking around every corner. Maintaining speed was the key to success, which was easier said than done considering how many obstacles there were to get hung up on.

  This particular chute (yes, it's as steep as it looks) had a good runout, but reaching it required threading the needle between the sinuous roots and holding on through two hard compressions.

  Another angle of the same line. An easier go-around was taped off on the right, but it was less direct, and riders who chose it ran the risk of disappointing the spectators who'd gathered to watch the show.

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  Ludo May, a member of Norco's Enduro World team, pushes hard into a dusty corner on his way to finishing 22nd overall.

  Out of the darkness and into the light at the end of stage four. Only one more stage to go, but it's a monster, a 6.6 mile descent with 4750 feet of vertical from Whistler's Top of the World trail.

  It's a long ride to the top, but the views are spectacular. A brief thunderstorm moved through earlier in the day, but for the most part racers were treated to perfect weather for racing.

  An unknown rider descends into the clouds on the Top of the World Trail.

  Heather Irmiger flies down the final stretch to the finish line to take 13th place.

  Jamie Biluk coming in hot on Carl Decker's tail.

  We'd vote for him...too bad Canada doesn't have a president. A flat on stage five put Cedric into 12th place, but that didn't stop him from showboating off the last jump on the course, flat tire and all.

  Anne Caroline Chausson was all smiles after taking her first Enduro World Series win. She laid down a commanding performance, winning stages one, two, and four, despite suffering a mechanical that required her to take her chain off and coast out the final section of stage four.

  Tracy Moseley gave it her all, finishing just over a minute behind Chausson, a close margin in a race as long as this.

  It looked like Jerome Clementz had it in the bag, but Yeti's Jared Graves put down what he called "the run of his life" on stage five to clinch the overall win for the day, earning himself $10,000 for his efforts. Here he takes a moment to catch his breath after riding stage five in a ridiculously fast 22:28

  And of course, as soon as Graves looked up, Brett Tippie was there for a cackle-filled post race interview.



31 Comments

  • 33 3
 26" in 1st and 2nd
11 different brands in the first 11 positions

Not bad I'd say
  • 11 5
 It just solidifies that it is not the bike, but the rider (same thing at Mont Saint Anne, 8 different brands in the top 12). This course looks so awesome and the whole weekend sounds like a ton of fun, props to everyone who made it through the day/festival!
  • 12 8
 650 b 2nd place at the women Tracy Moseley :-)
so T-Mo has ridden the 29er Remedy, the Slash 26" and the Slash 650B :-) during this season of the EWS :-) and won 4 out of 5 one
  • 13 1
 Props to the EWS for donating $ to WORCA for trail work. Join WORCA (worca.ca) if you love the trails outside the park. Lots of those trails featured in stories on PinkBike

Props to the Bike Park (Finestone and McSkimming) for funding trail work of outside-the-park trails that will be accessed by people coming in from the park.

Credit where credit's due.
  • 7 2
 Everybody is complaining enduro this and enduro that but its legit as f*ck. The only way to make it better would be to put in nye necessary skinnies with flow requiring doubles (think the beginning of the Stinc) and then Enduro would truly encapsulate all of mountain biking (dh pinning, uphill endurance, and good ol' fashion freeride.). Enduro is here to stay.
  • 13 1
 I think most of the complaining is people who turn up to a local 'enduro' race or event and its a shitty XC loop, oh and those that whine about wheel sizes.
  • 4 7
 I agree with the xc loop part. I sort of feel that if you can excel on the course with a 29'er, than its probably not going to have freeride things (again like the beginning part of the stinc). There's a reason 29'ers have invaded DH and a reason they will never invade slopestyle. Hopefully Enduro can maintain the real tight technical stuff where a 29'er won't excel, because if it does, its probably not a very turny, jumpy course and probably just a straight shooting rock garden kind of course that everyone hates to see for world cup DH.
  • 4 4
 *haven't invaded DH
  • 3 1
 Legit as f*ck is right: everybody was lauding this stop for the quality of the trails, and some of the best they'd ever ridden. There was a sh*t-ton of climbing, some real gnarly and steep trails, and nearly an hour of racing. This ain't no XC loop, you've only got to look at Margus' shot from Billy Epic to see that.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/9953757

Today I am sore.
  • 11 2
 26" bikes will be 2015's Coke Classic.
  • 12 7
 whistler enduro world..........the toughness race in the world....IN CANADA................winner..jarred graves yeti 66 ,26 INCH.......2 ND CLEMENTZ CANNONDALE JEKYLL 26INCH...............3 RD NICOL SANTACRUZ NOMAD 26 INCH......THE TOTAL DOMINATION OF 26 INCH.....IN THE MOST DIFFICULT RACE........GNARLY TRAILS...BIG ROOTS..BIGROCK..LOOSE ROCK..BIG DROP... SMALL SWITCHBACK.. AND STEEEEEEEEPP.....AND BIG STAIR..... AND THE 2,700 FEET OF STEEP RELAY..BROOOOOAPSSS!!!!!!!!......THE 27.5 IS ONLY MARKETING........AS VHS AND BETA.......VID√ČO...........HAHHAHAHAHAH
  • 2 0
 It's nice to know a mountain bike can still beat the hybrids tup
  • 9 2
 FFS! Takes caps lock off! And you only need one f**cking full stop.
  • 5 0
 26" --quick as sh#@, turbo corner to corner, quick to get in the air, pedals quickly and accelerates from a stop ridiculously fast. im on the sb 66c and while i cant ride it even as close as fast as graves can, i can definitely say im not dying to get on 650b. im sure that 27.5 has its place (just like 29) but the way its being force-fed is really pathetic. Bike companies should be offering it as a new choice, not eliminating a perfectly legitimate platform for terrain like this
  • 13 5
 26" wheel bike wins again..sweet
  • 9 15
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 12, 2013 at 3:54) (Below Threshold)
 Don't worry, winter will come and people will get bored, their brain tissue will soften due to off-bike slumber. Then the spring will come with new press releases of 2015 products full of 650B stuff. Few will remember and few will care, "it is a good idea for certain tracks" will be all over the place. If "650b is faster" ball won't roll at the end of this season, due to 26" wins, marketing guys will figure out something else than this pathetic Goants "scientific data". Things that are inpossible to measure will come in, like some Pro-bloke saying: it inspires confidence.
They will figure it out, given the investment they made, especially with carbon bikes: for some companies it will be a matter of serious financial trouble.
  • 7 1
 Jared is the boss! hell yeah!
  • 2 1
 Werd, stoked to see Graves take the win. He seemed to have so much bad luck jn the past. Amazing rider.
  • 6 0
 i cant imagine, how physically demanding this must be.
  • 6 2
 26" wheels on Enduro and DH
that's all we need .
  • 2 0
 Good to see Graves back on top.
  • 2 0
 I just wanna see that brett tippie interview!!!!
  • 2 0
 These photos are dam good!
  • 2 0
 round 5 :-)
  • 2 1
 I think this live show could be filmed better.
  • 2 0
 Just more in race videos can help, but happy about the pinkbike work Smile
  • 1 0
 agreed
  • 3 2
 yes 26 inch.......sweeeettt
  • 1 0
 Awesome pics and recap of the event!
  • 1 0
 Jared killed it at ews whistler!! He's the man !!
  • 1 1
 just aquestion when are slopestyle finals

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