Whistler rarely disappoints, and it certainly didn’t this year. The drama unfolded with flats and mechanicals playing their part early and late in the race. A come from behind victory is always sure to please the crowd. New faces at the top of the podium, and hard crashes sending some home early. The 2014 Whistler Crankworx edition of the Enduro World Series was a special one. Read on to find out the details.
The biggest day of the year starts in the plaza with another bike check (there were many). Josh Carlson is ready to get this party started.
Cecile Ravenel has been racing hard all year. She didn’t know it then, but things would very quickly start going her way on the Whistler tracks.
The eye of the tiger is strong with this one. Chris Johnston of the Nomads is excited to be racing again, and on his adopted home soil of Whistler. Getting engaged only days before the race rounded out his big weekend.
Stage 1 was the most gentle of the 5 stages held in Whistler, but the steepness of the trail was an eye opener, and a warning to racers that they weren’t in Kansas anymore. Iago Garay being hunted down by Carlson.
Francois Bailly-Maitre finding the perfect combo of light and track dust on his way to another top 10 finish.
Anneke Beerten of Specialized rode consistently again throughout the day, landing in 4th.
The forests in Whistler are big, deep and dark. Minutes from town can feel like miles away from home.
Jared Graves seemed to be missing his usual high speed punch on the way past on Stage 1. A fork malfunction was the cause, and a damage control state of mind was his thinking.
The looks of faces of Graves and team manager Damion Smith explain everything about how the race morning was unfolding.
The day was a short one for some racers. Rachel Throop took a serious fall and had to be walked out by medical personnel.
Stage 2, and the difficulty of the terrain was starting to become apparent as Tracy Moseley goes down at the top of yet another steep, burly, loose section.
Cecile Ravenel just getting warmed up. With a second on Stage 2, she knew this day was good.
Some riders seemed right at home on the tricky unique conditions in Whistler. Local Dylan Wolksy having some fun.
Lars Sternberg, now riding his freshly painted Transition prototype.
Nico Lau setting up another corner. Lau was fast and at ease all day, finishing on the podium in 2nd.
Trails built back in the 90’s are being reinvigorated, upgraded, and brought back into the mix in Whistler. Instead of building new, course designers wanted to use what was already there. Rough and raw is what racers want, so that’s what they got. Martin Maes atop a rock slide.
Joe Barnes has found his race pace, and knows his way around the dark woods. He also knows how to handle giant rock features.
Florian Nicolai thrown off line and off pace going into a corner. But he wasn’t thrown off by much, and landed in an excellent 5th place on the day.
Great to see Ben Cruz back racing again. Cruz goes hard or burns out trying, and it’s always refreshing to see.
Rosara Joseph had another fantastic day, and is now starting a trend of finishing in 5th (she jokes that 6th place was her place) for the second EWS race in a row.
Rene Wildhaber on one of the many rock spines on Stage 4. The steep and physical pounding definitely taking its toll on all riders, including the hard man Wildhaber.
Curtis Keene was hitting his stride and feeling comfortable on Stage 4. After this stage Keene was in Top 5, ready to enter the top tier of the sport.
Post stages, a long stream of fans exited the woods. Great to see so many people making big efforts to support big time bike racing in Whistler.
Cecile Ravenel high on “Top Of the World” on her way to her first EWS victory.
Bad luck happens. Just after this photo, Adam Craig flatted. Choice words were had with his equipment.
Markus Reiser recovered from altitude sickness in Colorado to ride strong in Canada. He finished 48th.
Bryan Regnier on the wall ride.
Marco Osborne with a top 20 finish. Will we see this young American on the full EWS tour next year?
Martin Maes was having an incredible day of racing, going for a podium, possibly the win, until a very untimely mechanical on Stage 5 dashed those dreams.
Aside from a flat earlier in the day, Richie Rude is another racer possibly on the podium. He proved he has the fitness and endurance to excel on big days, finishing 2nd on Stage 5 only to Graves, the ultimate fitness freak, picking up many places in the process.
Yoann Barelli finishing in 8th. So close, but an awesome day regardless.
Fatigue set in for Damian Oton, while others made up time on the final stage. Still, a fourth place overall is not bad, but Oton has been on top and wants nothing less.
After some bad luck early in the day, Graves had a “perfect run” to take Stage 5, and the overall, in dramatic fashion. Whistler has a knack for Graves doing that, now two years in a row.
Women’s Podium, with Cecile Ravenel on top for her first EWS win. 1.Ravenel 2.Moseley 3.Chausson.
Pro Men trying to spray the media squids in the front row. 1.Graves 2.Lau 3.Keene
For year two in a row, Graves gets the giant bottle of winning champagne.
For full results, you can always go the
Enduro World Series site.
Words, Photos: Daniel Dunn
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