The Enduro World Series rolled into the Colorado Freeride Festival at Winter Park this past weekend for the fourth event in the seven-event global competition.
The race had five timed stages, all of them over five minutes and a few over 10 minutes as well. Jerome Clement, Nicolas Vouilloz and Fabien Barel of France finished first, second and third responsively, with Clementz pulling further into the lead in the men's overall standings.
A few local riders made the trip. Chris Johnson of The Nomads team — based in Vancouver and Sea to Sky — placed a solid 12th overall. His best stage was the second, where he posted the ninth fastest time.
Dylan Wolsky, based in Whistler and riding for Vital MTB, was 22nd out of 112 racers. Jesse Melamed was in the mix for the first two stages, but had a mechanical issue on the third stage that cost him 12 or 13 minutes in the overall. He was a solid 16th on the first stage.
Tracy Moseley of the U.S. continued to build her lead in the women's field with her fourth straight win, followed by Anne Caroline Chausson of France and Dutch racer Anneke Beerten.
The next stop on the tour is the Canadian Open Enduro at Crankworx Whistler on Aug. 10-11, followed by events in France and Italy.
Toonie/Youth Toonie back to south side
Tonight's (Aug. 1) WORCA Toonie Ride is another south side epic, this time following a course that includes Riverside, High Line and Business Time, to be followed by an after party at Whistler Brewing in Function Junction.
As well, the third DFX Youth Toonie is scheduled to take place on Riverside trails.
Registration is at 5:30 p.m. and the rides get underway at 6:30 p.m. It's getting darker earlier, and riders are encouraged to bring bike lights for the ride home.
Whistler rider Tops Hot on Your Heels
Squamish's women's-only bike race, Hot on Your Heels, took place on Saturday, July 27, with an enduro format that timed riders on three timed sections — Angry Midget, Pseudo Tsuga and Hoods in the Woods.
Whistler's Leonie Picton won the race with a combined time of 13:28.2, followed by Amy Pryse-Phillips in 14:15.6 and Genevieve Demers in 14:27.1. Rounding out the top 10 were Sarah Leishman in 14:47.1, Isabelle Deguise in 15:04.0, Carena Dean in 15:08.0, Donna Mcmurtry in 15:11.5, Sabrina Horak in 15:11.9, Courtney Wittenburg in 15:12.0 and Petra Hauke in 15:13.2.
Results are at www.webscorer.com.
Kayakers make case for Callaghan
Dozens of whitewater kayakers converged on the resort for the Whistler Race Weekend, with a race on the Upper Cheakamus on July 19 followed by another race on Callaghan Creek the following day.
The Upper Cheakamus section was long, with paddlers taking over 10 minutes to complete the course. The course was rated a 2.70 out of six in terms of overall difficulty, which is roughly intermediate.
Gerd Serrasolses was the fastest paddler in 10:04, followed by Darren Albright in 10:15 and Phil Gibbins in 10:22. The Callaghan Creek race was a team event on a 2.65-rated course. The water levels were lower in the past, prompting organizers to shorten the course and take out a waterfall. Gerd Serrasolses and Darren Albright were first in 15:22, followed by Marcos Gallegos and Mikkel St. Jean-Duncan in 15:40 and Andra Krpic and Marlow McGregor in 16:04.
Steve Arns, the organizer of the event, said the competition was overshadowed by the news that power company Innergex was testing the Callaghan Creek for power generation potential back in May.
"One of the reasons why the race was started four years ago was that the Callaghan was one of the creeks in the area that had a water license available for it, so having a race and establishing that the river has a high recreation value was one of the purposes of the race series," he said.
Arns said it will likely take years for the Callaghan Creek to be developed for power, but in the meantime he wants to continue building his event and awareness of the creek's importance to paddlers. In his view, it's one of the top whitewater runs in this part of the province.
"It's really too valuable to have damned, you can paddle here every day for four months of the year. To have that cut back to a few weekends a year (when the dam is opened for recreation) is unacceptable," he said.