Photos by Adam Newman
The sixth round of the Enduro World Series rolled into Whistler just in time for a little thing called Crankworx to get under way. Several classic Whistler trails were groomed especially for the event with the deep, soft terrain of Crazy Train contrasting sharply with the rocky, exposed Top of the World.
By incorporating more trails outside of the bike park, the race increased in difficulty not just in descending, but by bumping the number of riding transition stages up to four. In all, riders would cover nearly nearly 40 miles over the course of the day.
Coming into Whistler, Round 6 of the Enduro World Series, the competition has been close. On the women’s side, it’s been a year of back and forth for the two top riders. Tracey Moseley (GBR) currently sits atop the women’s rankings, though it’s been a season of close battles through all previous rounds between Moseley and Anne Caroline Chausson (FRA).
For the men, this year’s race seems anything but certain. Last year’s overall champ, Jerome Clementz (FRA), dislocated and ripped all the ligaments in his shoulder earlier this year while racing in the French Enduro Cup – the accident put an end to his quest for continued EWS dominance and left the door wide open. Jared Graves, above, (AUS) won last year’s race in Whistler and currently leads the series in points, though each round has had a different men’s champ this year. Damien Oton (FRA) and Nico Lau (FRA) are both right behind Graves, while a recent surprise podium in Winter Park by former downhiller Richie Rude (USA) has certainly forced the Enduro world to take notice.