After a three year hiatus the Whistler EWS round roared back with an event that more than made up for the lost time.
It was EWS win number three in Whistler, Canada, for Harriet Harnden at round four of the 2022 series. The Brit rider bookended the six-stage women’s race with emphatic wins on Saturday’s Pro Stage and then took Sunday’s final stage to finish the race just 4.44 seconds ahead of Morgane Charre. Chilean Florencia Espineira Herreros (and Pinkbike Academy winner) took third place. There was heartbreak for Canada’s Andreane Lanthier Nadeau when a puncture on the penultimate stage left her with a leaking tire, and then a massive crash on the final stage demoted her from race leader to fifth place. Series leader France’s Isabeau Courdurier shrugged off what was a horrendous foot injury at EWS-E Valberg in July to take fourth place in the race.
In the men’s race it was a glorious home win for Jesse Melamed and the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team. The homegrown hero stormed to victory in front of his family and friends who helped fuel a hugely vocal local crowd. Melamed won four of the six stages and by significant margins. He was pushed hard right up until the final stage by the man who started the race as series leader, Richie Rude. The American came second on all four stages that Jesse won and took the win on the Queen stage where Melamed came ninth after a puncture. He trailed by just 10.13 seconds going into the final stage, but ended the day 44th after pushing just past the limit in a berm and blowing a tire off the rim. Reigning champion, Australian Jack Moir enjoyed a return to form to take second place 16.03 seconds behind the Canadian after more than 41 minutes against the clock. Melamed’s Rocky Mountain Race Face teammate and countryman Remi Gauvin took third, his first podium ever in EWS competition.
There's no rest for the weary however, and racing continues part two of three week North American stint next week in Burke, Vermont.
Having seen her come through Pinkbike Academy that shot of Flo on the podium is a favourite for sure, and that one of Julia through the woods. Another end of season podcast suggestion... get some of the Academy to EWS racers on, it was a big break for Flo, but interested what being on the show meant to the others.
@brianpark, when you green lit the Academy (and the race team) did you ever see the riders doing as well as they are?