French riders dominated the podium at both the men's and women's Canadian Open Enduro races this week during Kokanee Crankworx.
In the men's race, Remy Absalon both used and battled gravity to outpace the other racers and take home gold on Tuesday.
The current European Downhill Marathon Champion crossed the finish line eight seconds ahead of the pack with a time of 18:52.44.
"This course was very difficult, very technical and steep," said Absalon after the race.
"The Canadian Open Enduro is quite short compared to the lengths of enduro races in France. There is no time to relax and go slow. You have to go fast the entire time."
He said despite the intensity of the mass start, he was able to pass fellow French rider and mountain biking legend Nicolas Vouilloz.
Vouilloz was hot on Absalon's heals throughout the speed event, finishing second place with a time of 19:00.86.
American rider Ross Schnell rounded out the top three with a time of 19:12.99.
The enduro course was designed with significant input from some of the world's best cross-country, freeride, downhill and enduro riders. This was the second year for enduro racing at Crankworx. Unlike traditional downhill events, the Canadian Open Enduro mixes down hill riding with short spurts of up-hill sections that test riders' endurance, cardio and strength against nerve and skill. These peddling sections added another 400 to 600 vertical feet to the race.
Seventy-one competitors packed onto the start line at the top of Garbanzo Express on Tuesday morning to drop 3,800 vertical feet over the course of the race and finish in Whistler Village.
Things remained equally heated in the women's race, where two French riders pulled ahead of the crowd to take home the first and second place prizes.
Anne-Caroline Chausson, who dominated Sunday's Monster Energy Garbanzo Downhill, led the race from start to finish to claim the top podium spot in a time of 22:33.12.
Seconds later, racer Emmeline Ragot crossed the finish line with a time of
Third place went to Canadian rider Katherine Short, who finished in 24:00:05.