The Top of Paradise? - Enduro World Series, Round 6 - Whistler

Aug 8, 2014
by Matt Wragg  
For the first two days of training here in Whistler riders have been confined to the Top of the World trail, the fifth stage of this year's race. That didn't seem to be too great a hardship for the riders we saw, being forced to ride what surely has to be one of the iconic trails of our sport isn't a bad way to pass a couple of days, right? If Whistler is the mountain bikers' paradise, then this trail must surely be the top of paradise. At around half an hour long at race pace, there's plenty to learn too. Tomorrow the rest of the course opens for riders to get stuck into stage one to four.

Whistler is described by many at the mountain bike paradise and looking at any trail map of the area it s hard to argue with them. The network here is mind-blowing to the extent where riders like Jesse Melamed who grew up here haven t ridden every one of them.
  Whistler is described by many at the mountain bike paradise, and looking at any trail map of the area it's hard to argue with them. The network here is mind-blowing, to the extent where riders like Jesse Melamed who grew up here haven't ridden every one of them.

No photo piece from the Top of the World would be complete without a shot of the dramatic Black Tusk mountain.
  No photo piece from the Top of the World would be complete without a shot of the dramatic Black Tusk mountain.

Although the top of the course is not too demanding the sheer amount of rock on the ground means you need to be sure of your lines as mistakes could be costly. Many of the riders took the time to walk sections to be sure of their lines.
  Although the top of the course is not too demanding, the sheer amount of rock on the ground means you need to be sure of your lines as mistakes could be costly. Many of the riders took the time to walk sections to be sure of their lines.

It s hard to shoot Top of the World without this shot so why fight it After a disappointing race in Winter Park Florian Nicolai is another rider who will be hungry for a strong result this weekend.
  It's hard to shoot Top of the World without this shot, so why fight it? After a disappointing race in Winter Park, Florian Nicolai is another rider who will be hungry for a strong result this weekend.

You re not going to miss Greg Callaghan against the landscape this weekend with his very green Nukeproof and race kit. You can make your own leprechaun jokes.
  You're not going to miss Greg Callaghan against the landscape this weekend, with his very green Nukeproof and race kit. You can make your own leprechaun jokes.

Scott Laughland was looking pinned through the rock sections at the top of the course - it looks like the time he spends riding with Nico Lau is starting to rub off on him.
  Scott Laughland was looking pinned through the rock sections at the top of the course - it looks like the time he spends riding with Nico Lau is starting to rub off on him.

The dusty corners at the head of the track are unforgiving if you go in too fast or get a wheel out of place they will take you down there and then as Stuart Wilcox found out.
  The dusty corners at the head of the track are unforgiving, if you go in too fast or get a wheel out of place they will take you down there and then, as Stuart Wilcox found out.

Nico Lau is visibly excited by this race he loves the technical stages and long days on the bike. These are arguably the most technical stages of the season and we reckon he s going to be in his element this weekend.
  Nico Lau is visibly excited by this race, he loves the technical stages and long days on the bike. These are arguably the most technical stages of the season and we reckon he's going to be in his element this weekend.

Iago Garay has been using the hashtag doyouevendriftbro a lot on Instagram recently. The answer is definitely yes he sure does.
  Iago Garay has been using the hashtag #doyouevendriftbro a lot on Instagram recently. The answer is definitely yes, he does.

The vertical drop on Top of the World is the greatest on any track this season with over 1 400m vertical metres to be dealt with. After four punishing climbs and stages on Sunday we suspect there will be a lot of sore hands and lungs by the time they reach the finish line.
  The vertical drop on Top of the World is the greatest on any track this season, with over 1,400m vertical metres to be dealt with. After four punishing climbs and stages on Sunday, we suspect there will be a lot of sore hands and lungs by the time they reach the finish line.

Nico Prudencio is representing Chile this weekend.
  Nico Prudencio is representing Chile this weekend.

Another reason why we like Nico Prudencio is this he is a good sport taking a few minutes out from practice to get his freeride on complete with a sketchy huck to flat at the base of this rock. As a photographer it s slightly frustrating being confined to the race track on Top of the World as the possibilities for stunning photos are too many to count if you could play with the landscape around you.
  Another reason why we like Nico Prudencio is this he is a good sport, taking a few minutes out from practice to get his freeride on, complete with a sketchy huck to flat at the base of this rock. As a photographer it's slightly frustrating being confined to the race track on Top of the World, as the possibilities for stunning photos are too many to count if you could play with the landscape around you.

After missing Winter Park with a concussion after a truck accident Ben Cruz is back racing this weekend look fast on track. Although he s publicly predicting his teammate Marco Osborne is set for bigger things than he is we wouldn t be so sure.
  After missing Winter Park with a concussion after a truck accident, Ben Cruz is back racing this weekend look fast on track. Although he's publicly predicting his teammate Marco Osborne is set for bigger things than he is, we wouldn't be so sure.

Back in February it was touch and go whether Mark Weir was looking at being confined to a wheelchair after a quite frankly horrific accident being crushed by a tree. So we re sure we re not the only ones excited to see him back on track and racing this weekend.
  Back in February it was touch and go whether Mark Weir was looking at being confined to a wheelchair after a quite frankly horrific accident being crushed by a tree. So we're sure we're not the only ones excited to see him back on track and racing this weekend.

There is a rider in there just look closely at that corner. This is why riders enjoy the Top of the World trail - even though you are on maintained trails you feel a long way out from the world.
  There is a rider in there, just look closely at that corner. This is why riders enjoy the Top of the World trail - even though you are on maintained trails, you feel a long way out from the world.

Anne-Caroline Chausson won here last year and coming of a victory in Winter Park she is definitely going to want to turn up the pressure on Tracy Moseley in the hunt for the series title.
  Anne-Caroline Chausson won here last year and coming off a victory in Winter Park she is definitely going to want to turn up the pressure on Tracy Moseley in the hunt for the series title.

Damien Oton was looking fast on some of the bike park sections. He struggled to get to grips with the race in Winter Park so will definitely be looking to get back to winning ways here in Whistler.
  Damien Oton was looking fast on some of the bike park sections. He struggled to get to grips with the race in Winter Park, so will definitely be looking to get back to winning ways here in Whistler.

This is why we love being in Canada sunshine pine trees and snow-capped mountains always on the skyline.
  This is why we love being in Canada: sunshine, pine trees and snow-capped mountains always on the skyline.

Mark Scott was sending the biggest drops on No Joke with his trademark style.
  Mark Scott was sending the biggest drops on No Joke with his trademark style.

One of the big questions for this weekend is whether the technical tracks here will suit Cecile Ravenls aggressive riding style - could this be the weekend she takes one of the higher steps on the podium
  One of the big questions for this weekend is whether the technical tracks here will suit Cecile Ravanels aggressive riding style - could this be the weekend she takes one of the higher steps on the podium?



Trailforks.com


22 Comments

  • 50 1
 Stoked to see Mark Weir back. That dude is gnarly.
  • 5 0
 Yeah Mark - awesome to see you back in the saddle! Keep on rockin'
  • 2 0
 That can't be Mark Weir - the beard is not burly enough.
  • 4 0
 Fuck Yeah Mark Weir! LEGEND!
  • 3 0
 Deserves to get points just for being a badass.
  • 17 1
 so amazing - please can one of you Canadians sponsor me to emigrate over? I'll marry your ugliest woman if it means I can get dual nationality or a visa. Im beggin you
  • 10 0
 This is going to be an awesome event !!!!
  • 8 0
 Yep, so stoked for Weir. Kill it man!
  • 2 0
 Ear to ear grin, living here is pretty freaking rad. Great photos and definitely so many options with the alternate landscape back drops.
  • 8 5
 Not to be a nazi, but this is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors..
  • 1 0
 I just happened to be up there riding TOTW during some of these pics...was kinda cool to see what goes on and how many actual takes are taken to get a good shot.
  • 2 1
 Where's the photo of local ripper Matt Ryan?
  • 5 5
 Two lefty pictures in a row make for double nervousness and that coming from a VFR owner.
  • 8 7
 You get nervous when you see someone riding a more torsionally stiff fork than yours?
  • 9 8
 @ lccomz, I just looked at your profile. You seem to question people alot but yet have little to contribute, why? Let's see some action from you on one of those forks. That should be your next post................ Wink
  • 2 1
 @pacificpointer, you may be right. I haven't stalked your profile, so I'm not sure what you "contribute," but I trust it is more than your concerns about equipment you don't understand. Wink
  • 2 1
 Marco Osborne is gonna kill it
  • 2 1
 This race is for nico or damien !
  • 1 1
 Is it just me or does the "infamous" black tusk look like a Yeti sitting atop a mountain recliner.
  • 1 1
 I make that 700m of drop on TOTW, not 1400, or was that the total for all the stages?
  • 2 1
 It looks like that is just the Top of the World Trail...at the point where it ends, you're about halfway down the mountain.
  • 2 1
 KYLE WARNER IS GONNA EAT THAT TRACK UP !!!!! THUNDERTIME !!!!

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