Finals Photo Epic: EWS Whistler - Crankworx Whistler 2018

Aug 13, 2018
by Dave Trumpore  




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. Overnight rain had no effect on conditions, not even for the better. It would be a fight through dusty ruts, big holes and loose rocks over 5 long stages, culminating with the 20-minute beast that is Top of the World, down to Whistler village.

In the women's race, Cecile Ravanel jumped to an early lead, with Isabeau Courdurier and Adreane Lanthier Nadeau in tow - close, but safely behind. The order would stay the same heading into the 5th and final stage, but with half the overall race time coming from the last stage of the day, there was still much to play for. ALN threw down what looked to be a safe time to seal the final podium spot, but it would be a surging Noga Korem who had been flying under the radar all day who would put in an astounding time to steal the 3rd spot away. Cecile and Isabeau would cross the line together to finish in 1st and 2nd for the sixth time this season. Another victory for Cecile, but Isabeau's times have been inching closer each round. Perhaps a tighter battle will ensue at the last two rounds of the season.

Richie Rude would come out swinging from the get-go to take the lead on stage one in the men's race. He may well have done the same on stage two had he not smashed a tree at full speed mid-run down the rock slab on Crazy Train. Martin Maes established himself as the key challenger on stage one and would take advantage of Richie's mistake to move ahead after stage two. A spot he would hold until the end. Behind the battle for the lead, Eddie Masters dueled with Sam Hill for three stages until Sam leapt ahead going into the long final stage down Top of the World.

With Martin Maes just 1.5 seconds ahead, Richie Rude was surely a scary opponent to face in the final stage. Richie has won Top of the World twice before to win from behind in Whistler. Unfortunately, a puncture near the top would spelled 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. Instead, second place would be reserved for defending champ Sam Hill, with Eddie Masters benefiting from Rude's puncture to take 3rd.

With two rounds to go, Cecile Ravanel is all but unbeatable, and Sam Hill is comfortably in the driver's seat for the men. The remaining overall spots will be up for grabs when things heat up again next month in Ainsa, Spain.


Wildfires made for a hazy day in the high alpine today.
Wildfires made for a hazy day in the high alpine.

Peter Ostroski finds his flow through the golden light on Stage 1.
Peter Ostroski finds his flow through the golden light on Stage 1.

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

Full gas an 5th place for Yoann Barelli.
Full gas and 5th place for Yoann Barelli.

Martin Maes was on another level today. That win has got to taste oh so sweet.
Martin Maes was on another level. His win must taste oh so sweet.

What you can t hear in this photo is Remi yelling as he digs deep while Jesse who is just out of frame cheers him on and tells him to push hard. Sixth for Gauvin today.
What you can't hear in this photo is Remi yelling as he digs deep while Jesse, who is just out of frame, cheers him on to push hard. Sixth for Gauvin today.

Noga Korem takes third place here in Whistler. This photo technically take by my wife Anne Galyean
Noga Korem takes third place.

Rain fell to 4am overnight but that didn t reduced the levels of loose dust.
Rain fell until 4am overnight, but didn't reduce the loose dust.

The ever consistent Mark Scott rode a solid race today for 11th.
The ever consistent Mark Scott rode a solid race today for 11th.

Caro Gherig
Caro Gehrig drops into stage 3.

Not the day that Cody Kelley was hoping for. A crash and a broken helmet on stage three saw him retire early.
Not the day that Cody Kelley was hoping for. A crash and a broken helmet on stage three saw him retire early.

Down but not out. Jesse Melamed should be back in action in just a few short weeks.
Down but not out. Jesse Melamed should be back in action in a few short weeks.

Dad is doing just fine. After a short hiatus Robin Walner takes eighth.
Dad is doing just fine. After a short hiatus, Robin Wallner takes eighth.

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.
Some may have noticed Ruaridh Cunningham is riding with the 386 number plate today. It was to honour his uncle who was a policeman in Vancouver and was killed in the line of duty last year. His badge number was 386.

Katy Winton took fifth today.
Katy Winton took fifth.

Highs and lows once again through the day for Katy Winton as she battled on for 5th.
Highs and lows once again for Katy Winton as she battled on.

What a day for ALN who came oh so close to getting on the podium today.
What a day for ALN who came oh-so-close to getting on the podium.

ALN had a the best result of her career here in Whistler. Fourth place for the Canadian today.
Recovering from injury, ALN had the best result of this season. Fourth place for the Canadian.

9th for Becky Cook.
Ninth for Becky Cook.

Isabeau Coururier pushed on the long Top of the World stage but it was not enough to catch Cecile.
Isabeau Courdurier, pushing hard down the long Top of the World stage, but it was not enough to catch Cecile.

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

Noga Korem sat 4th all day but once the times from the final stage rolled in she was ecstatic to learn she would end the day in 3rd.
Noga Korem sat in 4th all day, but once the times from the final stage rolled, in she was ecstatic to end the race in 3rd.

Isabeau Courdurier happy with another 2nd place.
Isabeau Courdurier, happy with another 2nd place.

Cheers for making it six wins in six tries Cecile Ravanel.
Cheers for making it six wins in six tries, Cecile Ravanel.

Back in the top 10 today for Jared Graves.
Back in the top 10 today for Jared Graves.

Sam Hill said after stage two that he just kept putting it in holes not the way he envisioned the day going for sure but he s still the king.
Sam Hill said after stage two that he, "just kept putting it in holes." Not the way he envisioned the day, but he's still the king.

Eddie Masters does it again Third place for Eddie the Eagle
Masters does it again! Third place for Eddie the Eagle!

Thomas Lapeyrie rails through the loam on stage 3.
Thomas Lapeyrie rails through the loam on stage 3.

Remi Gauvin came 6th doing it for the hometown crowd.
Remi Gauvin came in 6th for the hometown crowd.

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

Dimitri Tordo would end the day 9th.
Dimitri Tordo would end the day 9th.

Florian Nicolai was pushing hard today. Fourth place for Flying Flo.
Florian Nicolai was pushing hard. Fourth place for Flying Flo.

Stage 4 was quiet the contrast to what riders were to ride through on the Stage 5. Green room to high alpine.
Stage 4 was quite the contrast to what riders were would see on Stage 5. Green room to high alpine.

After 2nd in Snowcross at the Pyeongchang winter olympics Brittany Phelan was out racing on home turf this time on two wheels.
After placing 2nd in skiercross at the Pyeongchang winter Olympics, Brittany Phelan was out racing on home turf, this time on two wheels.

Iago Garay dropping in Drop In Clinic on stage 5.
Iago Garay dropping in 'Drop In Clinic' on stage 5.

What could have been for Richie Rude who suffered a flat tire on the final and longest stage of the day
What could have been for Richie Rude, who suffered a flat tire on the final and longest stage.

Frustration for Richie Rude as things all came undone on the final stage of the day.
Frustration for Richie Rude as things all came undone.

More than one flat came across the finish line today.
More than one flat came across the finish line today.

Stage 5 was not an easy one.
Stage 5 was not an easy one.

Gauvin and Barelli making the home crowd proud.
Gauvin and Barelli making the home crowd proud.

Back to back 3rd places for a very tired Eddie Masters.
Back to back 3rd places for a very tired Eddie Masters.

Remi Cauvin doing it for Stevie Smith.
Remi Gauvin doing it for Stevie Smith.

Hill congratulates Maes on a race well ridden.
Hill congratulates Maes on a race well ridden.

Time to celebrate.
Time to celebrate.

New bike fresh win. Martin Maes and the GT crew will be celebrating tonight.
New bike, fresh win. Martin Maes and the GT crew will be celebrating tonight.

Martin Maes psyched to end his streak of 2nd place finishes with a win today
Martin Maes psyched to end his streak of 2nd place finishes with a win.

Finally an EWS where the only rain came from the fastest riders on the podium.
Finally an EWS where the only rain came from the fastest riders on the podium.

Exit stage right. Two to go and Sam Hill his still firmly in the lead.
Exit stage right. Two to go, and Sam Hill is firmly in the lead.



65 Comments

  • + 37
 Should the Ruaridh Cunningham caption say badge #386 ?
  • + 17
 You beat me to it Wink

386. Ruaridh Cunningham is riding with 386.

"...You’ll see that Ruaridh is riding with plate no 386 today – that’s the badge number of his policeman uncle who was tragically murdered in BC last year. His whole Scottish and Canadian family are here to cheer him on and it’s going to be an emotional one for him..."
  • - 11
flag finlay (Aug 13, 2018 at 6:24) (Below Threshold)
 386 right?
Not 387 - massive editorial Faux pas
  • + 23
 they say those helmets with removable chinguards are as save as true dh helmets. i have not seen a ripped off chinguard on a dh helmet for a decade....
  • + 20
 @optimumnotmaximum I don't see Cody's teeth bashed in, so It looks like it does the job just fine.
  • + 4
 Yeah I'm not so sure after I crashed on the mouthpiece of my switchblade which broke the tab on the helmet that the mouthpiece pops into and subsequently rotated down and bruised my esophagus.
  • + 1
 I stick to the traditional full face all day long...No trail-XC helmet or removable chin guards. There are tons of good full face helmets well vented and relative chip. I saw a few broken faces and almost lost a random guy in a trail cos he crash on a 2 pieces helmet and it broke very badly and the guy was unable to breath...We open his mouth with various tire levers,it was horrible, It was very lucky we found him very quick and one of the guys was in the army and have some medical notions. 100% helmets are not very good to me,the are very soft,I saw a few one´s broken in half. Good helmet&back protection is a must.
  • + 21
 giro switchblade protection confidence now at all-time low
  • + 3
 i was reall yconsidering the switchblade, but now i am very happy to have sniped a killer deal on a wonderful 100% aircraft mips. (in europe you can get the 2017 model for 170€ right now)
  • + 14
 @optimumnotmaximum: Put your money where your mouth is likely to be.
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster: well played; btw prices have risen again to 235 € for the 100%, but still highly recommended
  • - 13
flag fecalmaster (Aug 13, 2018 at 6:02) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: $235 ironically is exactly what I paid for my Moto X DOT Troy Lee SE, normally $500. If bmx and skateboarders are wearing them then doing warp 9 down a mountain, ya been DOT for over a decade. Trail riding is different of course and you will never see a helmet near me street riding because I'm going to get laid on the way home.
  • + 24
 Yeah, but his face is ok. So looks like helmet did its job. Helmets are good for one solid crash anyhow.
  • + 5
 Because Cody still has his teeth and is smiling?
  • - 1
 Giro stuff, I’m my experience, falls apart pretty quickly.
  • + 0
 @RedRedRe: People are new to Troy lee evidently. Sorry for you, and yes Giro is a one season or crash wonder. 5 years and my SE looking brand new and feels like a Mercedes one my melon. If a mega crash should happen at least my brain is protected the utmost. I literally have ridden MX, and snowmobile in that helmet and everyone always is like yeeeeah he doesn't need to rent a helmet.
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: I've had a few TLD D3's over the years. They are great helmets. But have had to replace them after bad crashes, just like any other worthy helmet. Right now, I'm on my second Giro Switchblade. I personally like it better than a D3. Wear what fits your melon, no on should complain about a broken helmet if its protecting your melon and breaks on impact.
  • + 1
 @JDFF: I have a D3 also for light weight DH, the DOT SE is the top helmet use in MX and mine looks brand new after mega runs. The real difference I feel is the weight is nothing but the safety factor is top ranking.
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: wow... you must be one of those people with weird shaped head to have a giro fitting like a glove? I can't comment on TLD durability as I never owned anything, however I had few Giro things-not only helmets- and compare to similar priced stuff i.e. gore, pearl izumi, castelli, rudy projects, kask, dainese, endura (clothing only) it is half the quality.
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: Honestly we started with Giro full face 20 years ago. After some web searching found TLD SE and D3 for less than half price. Been running those for years and they fit me like a Mercedes. Soo comfortable and the weight is nothing. Honestly I use the SE Moto helmet the most. It's the best protection, vision and comfortable for me. Having a helmet 90% of Moto X racer's use give you confidence if you're really doing it big. The D3 is good but feels like a one crash wonder where you are. Head injuries are not an option here at least. See most local pro DH racer's with them and bmx riders even use them.
  • + 14
 Have to feel for Richie Rude, guys been plagued with flats this year.
  • + 16
 You heard Sam talking about avoiding holes and finding the smoothest trail so that your bike and your body make it through the race. Richie has flatted quite a bit this season and last - it probably has less to do with luck/tech, and more with his riding/line choice.
  • - 1
 @Jvhowube: I still can't believe the pressures guys are riding, regardless of casing type. I'm 150 soaking wet and can't stand anything less then 28psi on a 2ply minion on the front. Good grip and better flat resistance....never ran tubeless though. Probably makes the difference.
  • + 23
 To be fair, Sam has had flats all season...
  • + 13
 @MikeGruhler: you lots everyone at "never ran tubeless" .
  • + 1
 @feeblesmith: Ayyyyyyy I was so confused at first Big Grin
  • + 1
 @Jvhowube: Aye, avoiding punctures is a talent in itself. Plus Richie being built like a bull at 95kg likely doesn't help punctures. Has 20kg over Sam Hill.
  • + 6
 Look at that Maes rear tire... looks like rolling speed is not a priority for him and trully this guy wants max grip and control... so prooves where the time is really done... hats off.
  • + 4
 True. It seems as though the DH bikes are going the same route now too. Grip is more important than rolling speed in DH again since they're finally making the courses a good mix of old skool raw and new skool flow now.
  • + 9
 And local ripper Christina Chapetta crushing it with 6th!
  • + 8
 Small typo but Britt has a silver medal in SKIER CROSS, not snow cross Wink
  • + 7
 Isabeau Courdurier has such an awesome smile - keep shredding!!
  • + 3
 Gawd! I love the PB EWS coverage. All the drama and all the best pics!! It’s better than the EWS recap!! (Which I can’t wait to watch)

I know Yoann is a Frenchman, but he’s a Squamptonian now and it shows! Go Yoann!

Long live the EWS!
  • + 3
 Gutted for Richie... But hey that's racing. I'm curious about whether he just rides the sb6 better or if he had his Mojo back this round.. Or both. And Maes is riding like a well oiled machine. Dangerously consistent. This EWS season is creeping to its end and it makes me sad
  • + 0
 Maes is a Baas!
  • + 5
 This is the best celebrate shot had taken ever.
  • + 5
 What are those tubes on Maes and Hill's wrists?
  • + 2
 Timing system transmitter. Everyone has two for redundancy.
  • + 1
 Timing chips I believe
  • + 1
 Also wondered, Cecile also has it. The timing sensor? A sugar cannon?
  • + 4
 No pics of Adam, though? Wink
  • + 4
 What about the Privateer?
  • + 6
 I believe he ended up 55th, which is a killer result and improvement! So stoked for him.
  • + 2
 @cgdibble: Right? He beat plenty of "sponsored" riders and quite a few other privateers. Speaking of which, who was the top placing privateer this weekend?
  • + 4
 Did Eddie Master do a cartwheel onto the podium this time???
  • + 3
 Probably my favorite photo epic ever. Stellar job photogs.
  • + 2
 BTW who knows what tire is that?
  • + 2
 Nice work Remi and Yoann!
  • + 2
 POD worthy shots everywhere!
  • + 1
 Got me confused on the last picture! SAM HILL on a clipless pedals???
ohh wait, it was a GT bike....
  • + 1
 Epic images , Thanks for all the hard work in the trenches !!!!!
  • + 1
 כל הכבוד נוגה שיחקת אותה בענק (:
  • + 1
 Sam Hill's quote would have been fine if he had just attended an orgy.
  • + 1
 What does Rude have strapped to his wrists?
  • + 1
 Go Noga! Well deserved! Finally all the hard work payed off.
  • + 1
 Maes is a mofo Baas!
  • + 1
 Cody’s crash was buck
  • + 1
 Awesome event!
  • + 1
 bit of an epic!!
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