Whistler is no stranger to mountain biking heroes and another was born today when hometown favourite Jesse Melamed won round seven of the Enduro World Series, the Crankworx Open Enduro presented by Specialized.
Melamed (Rocky Mountain URGE-bp) was locked in an intense battle with series leader Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) throughout the penultimate race of the year. Hill took the first stage of the day with an incredible 17 second lead, but by stage three Melamed trailed by a mere half second. In one of the most nail biting finishes to date, Melamed crashed on the final stage but still did enough to clinch the win by 14 seconds. Mark Scott (Santa Cruz x SRAM) had the race of his life to take third and score his first trip to the EWS podium.
Speaking after the race Jesse said: “I felt good coming into the race I had a solid result in Aspen and I’ve been feeling good on my bike all year. I was expecting the times to be closer, I had a huge crash on the last stage and I’m really happy I didn’t throw it away.”
In the women’s race it was another incredible performance from Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) who once more displayed total stage domination to take her sixth win of the season. Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) came second whilst Katy Winton (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team) scored third to land her second EWS podium of the year.
Cecile commented: “Crankworx for us it’s like the world championships - for me it is the best event of the year. I did the job, I was focused on the victory and I’m really enjoying the outcome of my run today. It’s amazing.”
Canada’s Max Leyen won U21 Men, with series leader Killian Callaghan just behind in second and Rhys Verner in third. It was a distinctly British affair in the U21 Women, with all three podium spots belonging to the Union Jack courtesy of Martha Gill, Elena Melton and Abigale Lawton in first, second and third respectively.
Local rider Matt Ryan is the first man to beat Karim Amour (BH-Miranda Racing) all year, with the current series leader pushed into second and former World Champion Woody Hole (Hope Factory Racing) in third. Chrissy Deval won Master Women, Mary Mcconneloug in second and Penny Deck in third.
In the team competition, Rocky Mountain URGE BP were team of the day, with Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team in second and Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team.
With just one race left this season, the stage is set for an incredible showdown at the last round of the year in Finale, Italy next month. Cecile Ravanel is all but assured of a second World Championship title, whilst in the men’s race it looks to be a three way fight between Sam Hill, Adrien Dailly and Greg Callaghan. All that lies between them and the championship is two days of intense racing on Italy’s most iconic trails.