- Bike Checks
The writing has been on the wall since Punta Ala, and now two riders who had previously dominated on many stages but never won an EWS race have finally climbed onto the top step of the podium. Jared Graves and Anne-Caro Chausson came through what was arguably the toughest test yet with convincing wins at the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro, in a race that was as hard on the riders as it was on their machines. Ever-present Jerome Clementz lead for 4 out of 5 stages, but had no answer for Graves on the 23-minute final stage of the race - the Australian took almost 24 seconds out of the Frenchman to take a much-deserved victory. Controversy surrounded Fabien Barel who was assessed a 5-minute penalty before the race started for violating the Outside Assistance Rule (by using shuttles during training) - his times over the 5 stages, including 1 stage win would have put him in third without the penalty.
The series overall leads are still held by Jerome Clementz, Tracy Moseley and Martin Maes (who destroyed the Junior field here in Whistler with a time that would have put him 9th overall in the Men's category) heading to the next round in Val d’Isere.
WHISTLER, BC August 11, 2013 – Jared Graves (AUS) has finally taken his first Enduro World Series (EWS) round against the impeccable Jerome Clementz (FRA) after a full day of mountain bike racing in the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro, presented by Specialized. The legendary Anne Caroline Chausson (FRA) also took the first EWS win of her career ahead of Tracey Moseley (GB) with an extraordinary performance that included severe mechanicals and serious effort. The stages used around the Whistler Valley and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park for today’s race have been regarded as some of the finest, most technical trails seen on the Enduro World Series yet, and were a true test of athletic endurance and mountain bike skills.
“I’m super happy to be back at the top,” says Anne Caroline Chausson. The French mountain biking legend took the win ahead of the nearly perfect Tracy Moseley of Great Britain by just over one minute and four seconds. “I’m back [from an injury sustained in competition] and I’m in good shape. I liked the courses here. They were really tough, and they are really technical and physical trails.” Chausson, who had to stop in stage four to remove her chain and carry on without the ability to pedal, won stages one, two and four and proved to be the ultimate contender throughout the day in Whistler. She ended her day by taking home a $5,000 cheque to complement her efforts.
Graves had to work for his win against Clementz and was tactical in his focus of the final stage of the day, which he won by an incredible 24 seconds. “I can’t believe it, I’m so happy,” says Graves. “I wanted to win this one so bad and all day Jerome’s just been one step ahead of me…I pretty much had a perfect run [in Stage 5]. I knew the track well; I practiced most of that trail and I knew that’s where you could make up a lot of time.” Graves’ day earned him a paycheque of $10,000, the highest prize purse seen in the discipline of Enduro since the sport began.
The fifth stage of the Enduro World Series' SRAM Canadian Open Enduro, presented by Specialized was a descent of the entire vertical of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, beginning on the epic Top Of the World trail, through the notoriously gnarly Garbanzo zone and down to the Whistler Valley. Riders regarded the fifth stage of this race was as some of the toughest riding of the day, especially after traveling the span of Whistler’s finest single-track for nearly eight hours that day with 51 kilometers traveled in total and raced across 19 kilometers.
The SRAM Canadian Open Enduro, presented by Specialized, combined lift access with approximately 863 metres of climbing. Riders traveled from Whistler Peak to the valley, twice, with the final stage an epic 10.63 kilometer, 1450 metre vertical top-to-bottom test-piece of endurance. The stages of the race were developed in consultation with pro rider Richie Schley, and Whistler local and Enduro aficionado Seb Kemp. The added “Whistler” twist was that, unlike in previous rounds, riders were not be able to return to the pits in between the first four stages, demanding a much higher degree of self-sufficiency and equipment management than has been required before.