Whether in enduro or a race that's a little bit shorter, Wei Tien Ho finds ways to win.
The local rider took home a pair of gold medals during Crankworx Whistler earlier this month, capturing the youth 13-14 men's division in the Bell Helmets Canadian Open Challenger on Aug. 10 and in the Garbanzo DH on Aug. 13.
"It was definitely hard competition, since people come from around the world. There are a lot of strong riders out there," he said. "Obviously, there's some home advantage to it. Definitely, practice comes to mind—practicing with your friends and picking out some good lines that are best for you. That definitely comes into play for the podium."
Ho described the enduro as being a particular challenge to win from the outset, especially without any climbing to get the blood flowing before the clock started ticking.
"It was pretty cold at the top," he said. "Sending it off of Top of the World was hard ... I wasn't completely warmed up. After a while, I got into it and got in the zone."
As for the Garbanzo DH, Ho credited friends with helping him figure out the best way to approach the relatively long downhill contest—though it's still short compared to an enduro.
"That was one of my first downhill races, so it was definitely cool to experience that," he said. "That one's different from a normal downhill race. You've got to pace yourself and flow on the downhill and save as much energy to pedal on the flats and the ups. It's a different strategy because it's such a long downhill race."
This summer, Ho also went to Quebec for the Canadian National Enduro Series final race of the season in Bromont. He took second to series winner Carter Krasny, also of Whistler.
"I've never flown with my bike and to be away at a different mountain, I didn't know what to expect," he said. "The trails were sick and luckily, I had two days to practice. It was really cool and good experience."
Ho said his summer season is done at this point and he'll shift his focus into his freeride skiing campaign this winter.
"You use different muscles for skiing, so I'm going to start training for those," he said.
Other locals to podium during the enduro included: Reilly Fogolin (first in the men's U21 division); Mason Gautrey (third in the men's 13-14 division); Neve Abraham (second in the men's 15-16 division); Marissa Szajcz (third in the women's masters 35-plus division); Noelle Floyd and Sam Shook (first and second in the women's 21-34 division); Amy Ertel (second in the women's U21 division); and Kaila Lafreniere (first in the women's youth 13-16 division).
Local amateurs taking home hardware in the Garbanzo DH were: Noelle Floyd (third in the senior amateur 19-plus division); Marcus Goguen (second in the men's youth 13-14 division); Harrison Tailby (first in the men's senior amateur 19-29 division); and Ian Milley (first in the men's junior 17-18 division).
In the Fox Air DH, local podium finishers were: Floyd Guy and Ryan Griffith (first and second in men's invitational 10-12); Lucas Cruz and Ian Milley (first and third in the men's 17-18 division);
In the Canadian Open DH, local podium finishers were: Steve Storey (second in the men's master amateur division); Harrison Tailby (third in the men's senior amateur 19-29 division); Matthew Griffith (first in the men's junior amateur 17-18 division); Lucas Cruz (second in men's junior expert);
Other local medallists included: Sarah Walter (third in the Riverside Women's-Only Jump Jam) and Lucas Cruz (first in the junior 17-18 dual slalom).
As well, Squamish riders Ainhoa Ijurko and Jackson Goldstone won the Princess and Prince of Crankworx awards, respectively, while Ijurko picked up the Steve Smith Memorial Award as well.
Full results, including Kidsworx, are online at www.crankworx.com.