Sam Hill came to Whistler fresh off a win at Aspen's round six which placed him in the lead of the series, and hungry for more. However, local favourite Jesse Melamed's season goal was to win in Whistler, so he was going to put up a hard fight for Hill. The trails are gnarly and the fans are frothing; welcome to round seven of the Enduro World Series, the Crankworx Open Enduro presented by Specialized.
Whistler EWS in one minute!
Just like in Aspen, Perth’s Sam Hill started strongest and took the win in stage one which began from the ‘Top of the World’, arguably the toughest stage of the series so far. His 18 second lead over Whistler local Jesse Melamed was brought back to just 2 seconds after stage two where Melamed started his winning streak and Hill finished 8th, his worst stage result of the day. Stages three and four saw the tables turn as Melamed’s time gaps over Hill’s 2nd places increased. Their battle continued to the village where only 0.42 seconds separated their fifth and final stage results. After almost 3/4 of an hour of timed descending more than 4000 vertical metres, Melamed took the win over Hill by 15 seconds. Mark Scott’s race highlight was his 2nd place in stage two, and top 10 consistency saw him earn his first EWS podium.
Wollongong’s Josh Carlson has a history of fast racing in Whistler, however, after a big crash during practice, 2017 wasn’t his year. His top stage result was 14th in the final stage, including another crash not far from the finish, seeing him finish the round in 25th. Sydney’s James ‘Cannonball’ Hall scored his second best finish of the season; consistent stage results placed him 36th overall. Right behind him in 37th was World Cup downhiller Josh Button. After a top 20 finish in Mont Sainte Anne the week prior, Button placed top 50 in all stages with a highlight of 31st in the final stage.
Another Aussie podium contender, Queensland’s Jared Graves, had a stroke of bad luck in the first stage resulting in a DNF that will hurt his overall ranking. Mt Beauty’s Chris Panozzo suffered a similar fate, with a stage one mechanical ending his race too.
One of those hard to swallow days of racing…. dropped chain 3 or 4 mins into stage 1, as I kept pumping on knowing it was going to be a long day the slapping chain and constant big hits then ripped my rear mech in half. All the build up and hunger for another podium ruined with bad luck again. I think it’s been about 4 years since I dropped a chain so for it to happen now is a bit frustrating to say the least. #gutted #hungrierthanever pic: seb schieck
The women’s race saw Cecile Ravanel continue her winning streak, once more displaying total stage domination to take her sixth win of the season. Fellow Frenchwoman Isabeau Courdurier came second and the UK’s Katy Winton earned her second EWS podium of the year.
Whistler based Aussie Leonie Picton used her home trail knowledge to finish as the fastest Australian female in 16th, including a 13th place in stage five. Fellow BC based Aussie expat Megan Rose finished in 19th and Adelaide’s Shelly Flood rounded out the top 20.
1. Jesse MELAMED Rocky Mountain Urge BP (CAN)
2. Sam HILL Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic (AUS)
3. Mark SCOTT Santa Cruz x SRAM (GBR)
4. Robin WALLNER Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team(SWE)
5. Remi GAUVIN Rocky Mountain Urge BP (CAN)
25. Josh CARLSON Giant Factory Off-Road Team (AUS)
36. James HALL (AUS)
37. Josh BUTTON (AUS)
50. Dylan WOLSKY (AUS)
52. Shane GAYTON (AUS)
56. Jeremy HAMILTON (AUS)
57. Jordan PROCHYRA (AUS)
68. Murray STEPHENS (AUS)
71. David MAUD (AUS)
80. Mark FRENDO (AUS)
95. Blake POLVERINO (AUS)
99. Jackson DAVIS (AUS)
110. Nate CORRIGAN (AUS)
120. Riley TAYLOR (AUS)
dnf. Chris PANOZZO (AUS)
dnf. Jared GRAVES Specialized Racing (AUS)
1. Max LEYEN (CAN)
2. Killian CALLAGHAN(IRL)
3. Rhys VERNER (CAN)
4. Pedro BURNS (CHI)
5. Kevin MADEREGGER (AUT)
22. Samuel RUBERY (AUS)
24. Blake PEARCE (AUS)
1. Cecile RAVANEL Commençal Vallnord Enduro Team (FRA)
2. Isabeau COURDURIER SUNN (FRA)
3. Katy WINTON Trek Factory Racing (GBR)
4. Anita GEHRIG Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team (SUI)
5. Andréane LANTHIER NADEAU Rocky Mountain Urge BP (CAN)
16. Leonie PICTON (AUS)
19. Megan ROSE (AUS)
20. Shelly FLOOD (AUS)
dnf. Tegan MOLLOY (AUS)
1. Martha GILL (GBR)
2. Elena MELTON (GBR)
3. Abigale LAWTON (GBR)
Full results can be found here.