The Enduro World Series is back on Whistler’s iconic trails for one of the most anticipated races of the year, the Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized.
The sixth round of the Enduro World Series will form the opening weekend of mountain biking’s biggest festival, Crankworx, and will be a single day of racing on some of the world’s most famous trails. And whilst this may be the series’ sixth visit to the venue, there are still plenty of surprises in store for the 350 riders competing in this Sunday’s race.
This latest Enduro World Series course compromises five stages featuring an incredible 3682 meters of descent and covering 52km in total. And for those that want to dip their toe in the enduro pool without committing to such a big day in the saddle, there’s the Bell Helmets Canadian Open Challenger race, which will take place on Saturday and feature four of the stages taking place in the main race the following day.
In the men’s race all eyes will be on series leader and reigning champion Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic), who has won four of this year’s five rounds. However no-one will be trying harder to keep him off that top spot than last year’s winner Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain/Race Face Enduro Team), who’ll be looking for a repeat performance in front of his home crowd. Also on the hunt will be Damien Oton (Unior Devinci Factory Racing) and Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) who lie second and third respectively in the series rankings.
Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) is on course for a perfect Enduro World Series season and is yet to drop a race – and with Whistler her favorite round each year, she’ll be looking to once more stamp her authority on the rest of the women’s field. Doing her best to stop her will be Isabeau Courdurier (Intense-Mavic Collective) who is her closest rival in the points table. Expect a strong showing from Katy Winton (Trek Factory Racing) as well, who is lying third in the rankings.
Speaking ahead of this Sunday’s race, Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series said: “Everyone loves coming to Whistler for Crankworx – it’s a perfect celebration of mountain biking. The course this year has a bit of everything thrown in – some old classics as well as completely fresh trail and I can’t wait to see who’s on the top of the podium this weekend.”
Check out more race coverage on Mtbr.