Pinkbike Primer - Everything You Need to Know Ahead of EWS Whistler

Aug 8, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Round Six, The Great Known
The EWS returns to mountain biking paradise

Whistler returns this year as the most-raced EWS venue ever. It has been on the calendar since the inception of the series and is one of the unquestionable classics. The race is famed for long, physical days and devilishly technical trails and is loved and feared in equal measure by riders.

This year the race is split over two days with the traditional finale, from the Top of the World down to the village, coming on Saturday evening and the remaining five stages spread around the valley on Sunday. After a month's rest, the racers will be fresh and fired up to race. Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming race:

ALN had a the best result of her career here in Whistler. Fourth place for the Canadian today.

The Course

STAGE 1: 11.1km
Top of the World > No Joke > Drop in Clinic > No Joke > Little Alder > Express Way > Too Tight > Upper & Lower Angry Pirate > World Cup Single Track > Afternoon Delight > Longhorn > Monkey Hands

STAGE 2: 1.73km
Jaws > Billy Epic

STAGE 3: 1.93km
Golden Boner > Roam in the Loam > Instant Gratification

STAGE 4: 4.07km
No Joke > 7 Year War > 7 Years More > No Joke > Sabre ToothHorse > South Park > Delayed Fuse > Shomo Shabos

STAGE 5: 1.17km
Line of Control

STAGE 6: 4.02km
In Deep > Fatcrobat > Express Way > Fantastic > Upper Whistler Downhill > Clown Shoes > Lower Joyride > Monkey Hands

What Happened in 2018?

Whistler's CamelBak Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized Enduro World Series round once again lived up to its namesake of 'Crankzilla' as racers battled it out on one long monster of a day. In the women's race, Cecile Ravanel jumped to an early lead and stayed there, on course for her perfect season. In the men's race it all came down to the Top of the World, with just 1.5 seconds separating Richie Rude and Martin Maes. Unfortunately, a puncture near the top would spell disaster for Richie, while a stellar run by Maes ensured he wouldn't be playing the second-place fiddle on the podium this time around.

Women's Overall
1st. Cecile RAVANEL 47:24.95
2nd. Isabeau COURDURIER +1:25.18
3rd. Noga KOREM +2:50.40
4th. Andreane LANTHIER NADEAU +2:57.85
5th. Katy WINTON +3:10.56
6th. Christina CHAPPETTA +3:37.75
7th. Anita GEHRIG +3:38.89
8th. Brittany PHELAN +4:03.34
9th. Becky COOK +4:27.47
10th. Morgane CHARRE +4:32.62
Men's Overall
1st. Martin MAES 41:01.99
2nd. Sam HILL +0:41.74
3rd. Eddie MASTERS +0:46.55
4th. Florian NICOLAI +1:11.16
5th. Yoann BARELLI +1:20.48
6th. Remi GAUVIN +1:21.52
7th. Jared GRAVES+1:31.54
8th. Robin WALLNER +1:32.51
9th. Dimitri TORDO +1:38.82
10th. Richie RUDE +1:41.44

What Happened at the Last Round

After a week of dry, dusty trails in France, the rain rolled in on the final day to spice things up even more. The men's race came down to the final stage with Richie just a few tenths off Eddie Masters. Both riders kept their composure under pressure and put down blazing times, but it would be Eddie who would emerge on top. A first-time win for the Kiwi EWS and World Cup DH racer who has now catapulted himself into the running for an EWS world title.

In the women's race it was business as usual for Courdurier, who has now strung five wins on the trot together. A new challenger emerged though in the form of privateer Raphaela Richter, who took two stage wins and finished less than 30 seconds behind Courdurier.

Elite Men

1st. Ed Masters: 43:31.79
2nd. Richie Rude: 43:32.73
3rd. Adrien Dailly: 43:46.17
4th. Florian Nicolai: 43:48.98
5th. Dimitri Tordo: 44:13.89
6th. Kevin Miquel: 44:22.64
7th. Matthew Walker: 44:25.63
8th. Gustav Wildhaber: 44:43.62
9th Leigh Johnson: 44:44.95
10th. Hugo Pigeon: 44:53.72

Elite Women

1st. Isabeau Courdurier: 48:54.26
2nd. Raphaela Richter: 49:23.55
3rd. Miranda Miller: 50:46.89
4th. Ines Thoma: 50:53.88
5th. Noga Korem: 50:57.16
6th. Melanie Pugin: 51:10.07
7th. Morgane Charre: 51:18.99
8th. Katy Winton: 51:49.66
9th Anita Gehrig: 52:16.36
10th. Becky Cook: 52:39.36

See the full results here.

Isabeau looks untouchable once again but she has a new challenger this weekend in Raphaela Richter

The Standings

1st // Florian Nicolai // FRA // 2140
2nd // Edward Masters // NZL // 1960
3rd // Sam Hill // AUS // 1840
4th // Kevin Miquel // FRA // 1830
5th // Dimitri Tordo // FRA // 1780
6th // Adrien Dailly // FRA // 1593
7th // Remi Gauvin // CAN // 1585
8th // Robin Wallner // SWE // 1500
9th // Keegan Wright // NZL // 1435
10th // Wyn Masters // NZL // 1410

1st // Isabeau Courdurier // FRA // 2700
2nd // Noga Korem // ISR // 1945
3rd // Morgane Charre // FRA // 1650
4th // Andreane Lanthier Nadeau // CAN // 1340
5th // Bex Baraona // GBR // 1020
6th // Anita Gehrig // SUI // 1015
7th // Becky Cook // GBR // 975
8th // Ella Conolly // GBR // 945
9th // Miranda Miller // CAN // 935
10th // Melanie Pugin // FRA // 925

Weather Forecast

It looks like the riders could have some rain to contend with by the time Sunday's race comes around.

Some may have noticed Ruaridh Cunningham is riding with the 387 number plate today. It was to honer his uncle who was a policeman in Vancouver and was killed in the line of duty last year. His badge number was 387.
Thursday, August 8 - Practice Stage 1, 5, 6
Abundant sunshine // 30°C // 2% precipitation // wind 6km/h

Friday, August 9 - Practice Stage 2, 3, 4
Partly sunny; pleasant // 27°C // 6% precipitation // wind 6km/h

Saturday, August 10 - Race Day - Stage 1
Variable cloudiness, a thunderstorm; not as warm // 22°C // 51% precipitation // wind 6km/h

Sunday, August 11 - Race Day - Stage 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Rain and drizzle in the morning; otherwise, cloudy; cool // 18°C // 59% precipitation // wind 7km/h

Weather forecast from Accuweather as of August 7.

The Schedule

On a charge and taking down all challengers Cecile Ravanel was a dominant force once again.

Thursday, August 8
• 09:00-11:00 Stage 5 Training
• 12:00-14:00 Stage 6 Training
• 16:00-17:45 Stage 1 Training

Friday, August 9
• 08:00-10:00 Stage 2 Training
• 11:00-13:00 Stage 3 Training
• 14:00-15:30 Stage 4 Training

Saturday, August 10
• 14:30-19:15 Race Day 1 - Stage 1

Sunday, August 11
• 08:00-18:30 Race Day 2 - Stages, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the event organizer.

Follow Along

Sam Hill kept it consistent in his quest for another championship title. 2nd today means he is very much in the drivers seat.

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team in Whistler this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, videos and results from practice and race day, as well as tech bits and news.

Following the Enduro World Series live can be a struggle with remote stages and hundreds of riders tackling trails at the same time. We're lucky to have Polygon rider Dan Wolfe bringing you behind the scenes action from each round LIVE through the Pinkbike Instagram stories this year. Find what's going down on course during training and race day through our Instagram. Be sure to follow @pinkbike to keep up with the action.

Pinkbike Predictions

Smashing turns all the way down Richie Rude would start the day with a stage 1 win.

bigquotesIt's truly wide open for this year's race and we've had plenty of debate in the Pinkbike office over who we think will take the podium spots. In the end, we've settled for Richie Rude repeating his successes of 2015 and 2016 and taking the win here on Sunday. He came back strong after his suspension with a win in Val di Fassa and second in Les Orres, proving he's the in-form men's rider of the moment. Remi Gauvin has been consistent on home soil here for the past three years and 2019 could be his time to step up for the podium. Eddie Masters has the potential to do well here but he'll have to shake off fatigue and jet lag from Val di Sole. If he can, he'll be a real contender for the win.

It's hard to bet against Isabeau Courdurier in the women's field and she comes into this race on unstoppable form. She has a perfect season in her sights and will not be slowing down to safeguard the overall title now. Lanthier Nadeau has shown that on her day she's one of the fastest women in the world. Hopefully, a race on home soil will give her the boost she needs to show that off over the course of a full race weekend. Finally we've picked Noga Korem, who has been clinically consistent all year and never finished lower than fifth. She'll be keen to get back on the podium here in Whistler.

1 // Richie RUDE
2 // Remi GAUVIN
3 // Eddie MASTERS
1 // Isabeau COURDURIER
3 // Noga KOREM

Fantasy League

Don't forget to complete your EWS Fantasy team before the race starts on Saturday. If you don't know who to pick, check the Start List . There are prizes for each round, so if you haven't already, make sure to build your team today! If you've already got a team in the mix you're in the running to win the Grand Prize, so visit the Fantasy homepage to make sure you have the fastest team possible for Round 6.

The Fantasy Enduro League is Presented by Shimano.

MENTIONS: @shimano


  • + 12
 During my stay in Canada last summer I was lucky enough to ride this year's stages 1 and 5 almost top to bottom one week prior to the 2018 EWS race. I have nothing but the fondest memories of it. These trails have it all and contain everything that comprises mountain biking to me. This area of the world is one special place and I'm so stoked that places like these exist. Too bad it's an 11 hour flight away though Big Grin I'm so stoked about Whistler and Squamish and can't wait for the race coverage. It's going to be a good one.
  • + 10
 Still so gutted for Maes.
  • + 23
 im sure he'll look back on it later in life and be glad that only lost a couple winnings and not his leg
  • + 1
 @sosburn: Wow, perfectly valid and sympathetic comment getting neg props? Don't understand.
  • + 3
 I went and checked out quite a few of these trails the past weekend. I’m really interested to see the times on line of control. That’s going to be one boggy, rooty, tightly taped sprint if the rain in the forecast is for any appreciable amount.
  • + 3
 Just rode TOTW to that area last weekend via Khyber Pass as well and it was really muddy/slippery. Line of Control was looking wet, rough, and chopped up already and any more rain certainly is going to make it tougher. Saw Rude out smashing practice laps on Blackcomb and in the bike park last week as well, he's my fav for the win.
  • + 6
 Will Jill Kintner race this round ?
  • + 3
 I believe she is racing...
  • + 5
 Eddie's tired, rain is forcast, local boy is injured. Sam bloody Hill will be on the hunt for sure mate.
  • + 1
 It sounds absurd to say it, especially in light of what’s happened up to now, but I just looked at the points and I reckon Sam Hill is going to take the overall. It’s fooking crazy but I reckon he’s going to do it!
  • + 1
 I like that it's 2 days now. Good idea to put the HUGE stage on it's own day rather than slotting it in at the end of a long 1 day race. Will be fun to watch.
  • + 2
 just reading the trails names makes me want to get back and shred
  • + 1
 Maes isn't racing ? I though his supension ended right before the race.
What about Ed masters ? Lenzerheide DH or EWS ?
  • + 5
 Eddie posted on his Instagram he is off to Canada, so EWS it is.
  • + 2
 Richie and Jill. American sweep this round 100%
  • + 1
 It will be great to see Jill battling Isabeau on this course. Hopefully the weather doesn't play too much into it.
  • + 1
 Can we watch this live or something?
  • + 1
 Best places to watch from?
  • + 0
 If it stays dry my money is on R. Rude.
  • + 6
 Dopers 4evah!!!
  • + 1
 I guess it should be Melamed´s time this year
  • - 3
 @leelau: f off
  • - 2
 @leelau: wank comment dude.
  • + 5
 @Golden-G: @Artikay13 begging your pardon for the doping comment. In the true spirit of Canadianness sorry Richie for doubting and so many apologies.
  • + 1
 @leelau: the fact is Lee, you wouldn’t say that to Richie’s face and not likely to mine either.
  • + 2
 @bok-CZ: Except he has a broken ankle
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: I can't say why I would say that to your face as I don't know you and would not go out of my way to offend you. I would however not have an issue mentioning it to Richie if I saw him and had occasion to discuss the matter
  • + 2
 @leelau: an honest answer. Respectable conduct on the internet! Richie is hardly a doper. Taking a bronchiodiolator or drinking 3 red bulls before a stage does not equate to blood doping, EPO, or anabolic steroid use. Not even comparable IMO. It’s not all black and white.
  • + 2
 @Golden-G: I concede that I am perhaps simply jaded by the prevalence of doping in the sport of cycling throughout all disciplines. Thanks for your reply.
  • + 1
 @paulskibum: ooh, didn't know, damn..

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