The Enduro World Series is back in Whistler, Canada for one of the most anticipated races of the year, the Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized.
Round seven is the opening weekend of Crankworx, the world’s largest mountain biking festival. As the penultimate race of the year, the stakes are high for this Sunday’s race, and riders push for points one last time to put themselves in the best position possible ahead of the final race of the year in Finale next month.
This year’s course will feature five long stages over one day of racing on a 57km course, although eight kilometres will be on chairlifts. Nonetheless, it’s going to be a tough race in Whistler, with some big climbs and long stages – riders will start the day with the iconic and exhausting top of the world trail.
In the men’s competition expect a showdown between Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) and Adrien Dailly (Lapierre) as they battle for points supremacy. Hill’s win at round five in Aspen Snowmass saw him leapfrog Dailly in the rankings – but with just 40 points separating the big Aussie from the young Frenchman there’s no room for error from either. Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) lies in third in the overall and will also be on the hunt – and don’t discount Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox Factory Team) he was leading round five until a puncture ended his race, and he also won here in 2016.
Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) continues to dominate the women’s field, and is all but assured of the World Championship if she finishes the final two races of the year. Katy Winton (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team) has posted consistent results all year to sit in second, with Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) a mere ten points behind in third. Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) placed second in Whistler last year and at just 20 points behind Thoma, it’s still all to play for in the overall.
In the U21 women it’s Martha Gill leading the series, with Estelle Charles in second and Abigale Lawton in third. Whilst over in U21 Men round five winner Killian Callaghan leads the series, followed by Vojtech Blaha and Daniel Self.
Karim Amour (BH-Miranda Racing) remains unstoppable in the Master Men category, having won every race so far this year. Reigning World Champion Michael Broderick sits in second and Milan Cizinsky is back in third.
Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team lead the team championship, but are being chased down by Rocky Mountain URGE-bp in second and Canyon Factory Enduro Team in third.
Speaking ahead of this Sunday’s race, Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series said: “Whistler is always a high point in the season and this year is no different. The Crankworx team have put together an incredible course for Sunday – it’s going to be tough but the stages are so fun I don’t think anyone will mind a bit of Crankzilla action. The penultimate race of the year always brings the drama as it can make or break the championship – I can’t wait to see who’s on top of that podium on Sunday.”