Squamish Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design - NAET 2 - Race Recap

Jun 15, 2017
by squamishenduro  
When the organizers at Squamish Enduro theorized the five stage enduro race that would become The Gryphon, they knew they had to do it right, and maybe even raise the bar. Squamish is home to some of the world's most renowned singletrack and it wouldn't be right to have a race that didn't match that reputation. With the help of many volunteer and sponsor efforts, The Gryphon 2017 certainly looked to uphold that reputation.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Stop number two of the North American Enduro Tour landed in Squamish where the weather lined up perfectly, with a heavy downpour on the Thursday before the race, followed by a dry Friday. If you've ever ridden Squamish the day after rain, you know how impressively quick the trails dry out. It all equated to some of the most primo trail conditions imaginable; tacky, fast, and true to the world class dirt Squamish is known for. The SORCA trail crew has been hard at work through a hellacious spring of precipitation; buffing up trails, repairing culverts, and re-building bridges annihilated by fallen trees. Huge thanks to Jeff Norman and his hard working dirt slingers who go above and beyond to keep all the trails, and even some in The Gryphon, so fantastic.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

One of the highlights of The Gryphon was Spruce Race Timing's seamless RFID timing system. The no tap, no fuss system allows riders to roll up to the start gate, countdown and go, without any action required by them. When riders finish the stage they can sprint past the finish timer without missing a pedal stroke. Spruce's portable system was backpacked into the various start/finish locations by the awesome volunteers who make The Gryphon possible. Another big shout out to the fellas at Spruce, Andrew Blair and Bruce Pomeroy, the latter of whom was expecting his (and Leah's) baby girl on race day (still TBA).

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Race director Dylan Smith (centre) and Spruce Race Timing's Andrew Blair (second from left) explaining to the amazing volunteers how to solve a rubix cube, or how big of a filet-o-fish sandwich will be eaten after all this is done...

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Racers listen in on the rider briefing, while the rain holds off, and the sun shines.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Some of the big guns, Jesse Melamed and Lee Jackson listening on, at rider briefing. The Gryphon is on the calendar as an EWS qualifier race, and attracted a pretty stacked field.

The Course


The Gryphon 2017 course was set to represent the best trails that Squamish has to offer, and it didn't disappoint. A downhill-centric course, on stage 1,2,4, and 5 was balanced out by a bit of a lung buster on stage 3.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Life amongst the ferns; good vibes, good times.

Stage 1: Cakewalk (Presented by Giro Sport Design)

2017 Squamish Gryphon
Straight hucking halfway down Stage 1. Photo: Brad Martyn

2017 Squamish Gryphon
Local shredder who "doesn't even ride his bike that much" Kasper Woolley, at age 16, parts the waters at the stream crossing. Kasper was on a blistering pace at the 2016 edition of The Gryphon, leading everyone (including all the pro's) after two stages, but got a little too rowdy and crashed out on Stage 3. It did earn him this killer Switchblade courtesy of Giro Sport Design, and a healthy shot at the title in 2017. Photo: Brad Martyn

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Out of the woods into the clear; after some of the most technical sections on the entire course Team Tantalus rider, Luke DiMarzo gets low and ready to haul on the pedals for the insanely quick lower section of Cakewalk.

2017 Squamish Gryphon
Full throttle, Matt Ryan tears through lower Cakewalk.

bigquotesYou couldn't ask for better conditions out there, and the course was set like a proper EWS course; The perfect mix of speed, tech, and enduranceJesse Melamed, Rocky Mountain Urge BP Rally Team

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
The Gryphon 2014 race winner, Jesse Melamed, navigates his way to a Stage 1 win in 2017.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Kasper gets the two wheel drift on. Stay on your bike Woolley!

Stage 2: Angry Midget (Sponsored by Shimano)

Angry Midget is probably the best-known tech trail in Squamish, and it's always a rider favourite in The Gryphon.

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Young gun, Mark Roblin carves the cutty on Angry Midget

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Giro's Jared Walker eyes up a line through the super fast reaches of lower Angry

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Hometown hero, Remi Gauvin quite literally fly's through Angry Midget, claiming the fastest time on Stage 2

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
The unsung hero of the race, Roland Benesocky closes in on the Stage 2 finish line. Roland is the kind of guy who would jump on a grenade for you, tirelessly assisting with all aspects of race prep and take down. He can also be spotted in his natural element as "Rolando" during Hot On Your Heels, but you'd have to see it to believe it.

"Feedstation": The Nester's Market Squamish Una Cama Lounge

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

The endearing, and scandalous ladies from Hot On Your Heels—Women's Only Mountain Bike Race serve up some bubbly vibes at the feed zone. After crossing the Northside connector, an 8km haul from the Diamond Head area to the Alice Lake area, riders were greeted with this scene. It has become a staple of The Gryphon, and after two full on stages and a long pedal, it was a welcome refresh.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Stage 3: Ed's Bypass » Manboobs

After two stages of all out technical descending, it was time to churn some lung butter on Stage 3. The longest stage times were recorded here and although there were a couple punchy uphills, the berms and high speed heads up singletrack kept riders on their toes.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Not only known for her karaoke skills, Annie Roy slays the berms, sans goggles.

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Peter Wojnar shows us that finesse is best, while aboard his Chromag hardtail

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Junior, Bryan Gregory looks through the corner on lower Manboobs

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Yoann Barelli, keeps the power down and hammers through the loam on his way to a 4th place finish in Stage 3

Stage 4 - Credit Line

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
The Gryphon's sister race, Hot On Your Heels, sponsors all junior women's registration fees so that junior women pay only $20. Here, Kei Gray weaves her way down the berms of Credit Line, she was one of six junior women (U19) out on the day. Keep looking ahead Kei. Photo: Jessie Mcauley

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Jeremy Norris spools it up on lower Credit Line after a crash early on in Stage 4, which left him with a beauty face tattoo. Mr. Norris was on pace for a podium finish in open men, a spot he's held in years past at The Gryphon. Photo: Jessie Mcauley

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Team Tantalus slayer, Greg Grant, knows how to get low through the tech, but he also knows how to get high... accidentally adding a few extra meters to his climb early on in the day. Despite the extra climbing, GG cruised to a second place finish in Stage 4. Photo: Jessie Mcauley

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
In the + category, Republic rider, Eric Goodwin spreads some butter on the rocky sections of Credit Line. Photo: Jessie Mcauley

Stage 5: Crouching Squirrel, Hidden Monkey (Sponsored by OneUp Components)

Crouching begins with a straight shot descent over a mix of loam, rock, and gravel… loose. Flying Spirit Rentals, Norman Rudy's Pub, and Phillips Brewing decided to up the ante, offering one beer per km/h to the fastest non-pro male and female. Flying Spirit Rentals brought their Gorilla and recorded some blazing times. Carl Goldstraw of Team Tantalus picked up 55 brews, and Angie McKirdy snagged herself 49 cold ones. In the pro category, Yoann Barelli recorded the top speed of the day at 60km/h. Thanks to the speed zone volunteer team!

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Brittany Phelan threads the needle on her way to a stage 5 win amongst the Pro Women

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
Jesse Melamed attacks a steep exit on Crouching, landing a second place finish on the stage

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017
From Pemberton, Davis English hones in for a strong finish on Stage 5

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Donny Van Eesteren shows the young squids how to get it done, taking third place in Veteran Men in the stage. Photo: Elliot Smith

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
The Gryphon 2016 Junior Women's Champion, Ainhoa Ijurco, shows the form of a true pro and already, her father, Aitor can't keep up. At 15, Ainhoa impresses both on and off the trail, as a well spoken and confident young woman. This year Ainhoa took home a Stage 5 win in her category.

Stage 6: The After Party at Norman Rudy's Pub

Why do we ride? Well, honestly it's often more about celebrating the ride than it is actually riding, and the folks at The Gryphon know how to throw down a celebration. After the race, riders followed the course to the finish and entered the new Norman Rudy's Pub patio. Giro Sport Designs was back with its famous caesar bar, Tantalus Bike Shop was pressing out grilled cheese sandwich's, accompanied by their house brand hot sauce, and Alice and Brohm's Real Fruit Ice Cream was spinning soft serve. Pair that with live music from local singer song writer Will Ross and you get an apres experience like no other. It didn't end there, Norman Rudy's served up a pig roast with all the fixin's, and Phillips Brewery covered a round of beers on the house. The medals were hung around the riders necks as the sun went down, and DJ Praiz kept the good times rolling until late.

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2

Tantalus Bike Shop's grilled cheese station, Giro Sport Designs caesar bar, and Alice and Brohm's real fruit ice cream greeted riders as they crossed the line. Norman Rudy's Pub served a pig roast for dinner and the after party went into the early hours of the morning.
photo: Phil Szczepaniak

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
The podium was primed at sunset. Photo: Phil Szczepaniak


NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Veteran Women
1. Cathy Zeglinski
2. Jane Gillie
3. Barb Cooke

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Veteran Men
1. Carl Goldstraw
2. Don Van Eesteren
3. Steve Todd

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Masters Women
1. Meghan Illingworth
2. Annie Roy
3. Jaclyn Jeffrey

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Masters Men
1. Matt Ryan
2. Greg Grant
3. Cesar Gairin

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Open Women
1. Fejola Stepanka Nestlerova
2. Angeline McKirdy
3. Rose Oakhill

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Open Men
1. Dylan Layzell
2. Robert Armstrong
3. Matt Bolton

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Junior Women
1. Julia Long
2. Ainhoa Ijurco
3. Bailey Goldstone

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Junior Men
1. Kasper Woolley (note that Kasper would have finished 3rd in Pro Men)
2. Jacob Murray
3. Jacob Tooke

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Pro Women
1. Leonie Picton
2. Laura Battista
3. Brittany Phelan
4. Amy Morrison
5. Jo Peters

NAET Squamish Enduro 2017

Pro Men
1. Jesse Melamed
2. Remi Gauvin
3. Chris Johnston
4. Yoann Barelli
5. Brendon Edgar

Full results available at Spruce Race Timing

Shimano sponsored the annual twerk off, where Kelly Evans and Evan Power had the floor believing they were straight outta Atlanta. While OneUp Components offered up their new EDC tool to the first person to jump in the lake. Matt Ryan sprinted past a pack of children to take home the prize (to be fair, he was the only person to jump right in, and executed a beauty dive in the process).

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Shimano Twerk Off winner Kelly Evans (left) puts on a booty shaking lesson with race organizer Melissa Sheridan, both had some pretty luscious moves. Photo: Phil Szczepaniak

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2
Photo: Phil Szczepaniak

Huge thanks to all the sponsors who helped make the event awesome, and all the amazing volunteers who make The Gryphon what it is. Proceeds from The Gryphon go to SORCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Sea to Sky.

Thanks to the men behind the lenses; Caleb Smith, Elliot Smith, Brad Martyn, Jessie Mcauley, Phil Szczepaniak, and AJ Barlas.

For inquiries contact dylan@squamishenduro.com or visit http://squamishenduro.com/

The Gryphon 2017 presented by Giro Sport Design NAET 2


  • 33 0
 Great organisation, great trails, great vib, great everything really Smile !!! Just one thing for the future: Wouldn't it be good to get rid of this pro Category that doesn't mean anything and instead, every one race in his category of age and on top of that, we make a "scratch" (overall or general) category which means all category mixt up. In that case this 15 year old Casper kid would have been third on the podium in the middle of Jesse, Remi, Chris ect, freaking rad isn't it ??!!.... Same if a woman, or a master or anything would have been on the overall podium Smile . in my opinion, it's pretty important to highlight that kind of performance.
  • 11 0
 The 16 yr old local finishing a "would have been" third in pro men is really impressive anywhere. Then look at the top 5 pro men in this race and think about where he stacked up with that line up and it's like wow, really impressive. Super stoked fro that young man. Props to everyone to made this happen, looks like a solid event!
  • 9 1
 SRAM now offering Boost Twerk Off.
  • 3 0
 Might want to proofread the captions again... the shot of Layton Meyers on stage 3 is actually me (Bryan Gregory). Thanks for putting my shot in the article though, and thanks for such a great event! Already looking forward to next year.
  • 1 0
 The event was awesome & I had a blast (despite being unimpressed with my own performance... that is normal).

But I am curious, where are the speed trap results you promised us on Facebook a few days ago?

Normally if they had gone unmentioned after the event, I would have assumed you didn't bother recording them all (i.e. only recorded the top riders). But since you specifically mentioned they'd be up "soon"... I guess you recorded everyone's speed/number plate?
  • 4 0
 Damn, Kasper Woolley. Keep riding your bike, dude. You're going places.
  • 3 0
 Ummm. More pictures of the hardworking volunteers from the feed station please.
  • 2 0
 Man I can't wait to get another bottle of tantalus sauce. Seriously the best hot sauce ever made.....
  • 1 0
 sorry, here is the video, I had to remove the logos of the corporate world

  • 2 0
 What a great event - great job Squamish Enduro!
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