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Canadians storm to wins and podiums at first Enduro World Cup

Emmy Lan picks up where she left off while Rhys Verner has a huge first race of the year

Under-21 women's podium at Enduro World Cup #1 - Maydena Australia

Canadian racers had a huge start to the first-ever Enduro World Cup season, landing wins and podiums in Maydena, Tasmania on Sunday. Emmy Lan was the top-placed Canadian, winning the under-21 women’s race with Elly Hoskin joining her on the podium. Rhys Verner also put in a wildly impressive result, finishing fourth in the elite men’s race.

Racing didn’t go perfectly for all Canadians, though. Defending EWS champion, Jesse Melamed had an auspicious start to his season. After posting some fast times in early stages, a partially flat tire nearly sent him into the bushes on a high-speed step-down. Somehow the Canadian avoided crashing, but couldn’t save a good result on Sunday.

Under-21: Lan picks up where she left off

Comox Valley, B.C.’s Emmy Lan (Forbidden Synthesis) started the 2023 season just as she ended 2022, with a win. The Canadian, and defending u21 women’s champ, won the last four of six stages on Sunday, but didn’t pass second-place finisher Erice van Leuven (Commencal Les Orres) until the last stage.

Lan wasn’t the only Canadian on the under-21 women’s podium, though. Elly Hoskin finished in third, making for a very fast start for the Devinci racer. Rocky Mountain Race Face’s new addition, Lily Boucher, followed in seventh.

Johnathan Helly (We Are One) led the Canadian u21 men, placing fifth. Like the elite men’s race, the u21 men’s results were dominated by Australians, including the top three spots. Lief Rodgers (Giant Canada) added a 13th place finish, including several top-5 stage finishes.

Elite men and women: Verner

While Jesse Melamed didn’t have a fast a day as many were expecting, another Canadian stepped up to fill his shoes. Squamish, B.C.’s Rhys Verner earned fourth in the elite men’s race, adding to an incredible day for the Forbidden Synthesis team. The Canadian not only finished one spot ahead of World Cup downhill star, Troy Brosnan (Canyon Cllctv) but was the only international racer to crack an all-Australian top six. The next rider not from Australia was past Enduro World Series champ, Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox) in seventh.

It was a battle between young DH racer Luke Meier-Smith (Giant Factory) and Maydena local Daniel Booker (Nukeproof SRAM Factory) for the win, though. Meier-Smith had a strong finish, winning three of the last four stages to take the win. Booker held on for second with Forbidden Synthesis’ Australian flat-pedal specialist, Connor Fearon, in third just ahead of Verner.

Remi Gauvin finished 15th, and next-best Canadian, for Rocky Mountain Race Face. His old teammate, Jesse Melamed (Canyon Cllctv), was next in 19th, Elliot Jamieson (Norco) 20th, Evan Wall (Devinci Global Racing) 24th, McKay Vezina (Giant Factory) in 27th and Jack Menzies (Polygon Factory) in 29th.

Isabeau Courdurier (Lapierre Zipp Collective) earned yet another win, opening the first Enduro World Cup season on the podium’s top step. Morgane Charre (Pivot Factory) was the only rider to push Courdurier, finishing second. Ella Connolly (Cannondale Enduro Team) followed in third. Downhill world champion Vali Holl (RockShox Trek) was in contention early on until a crash on the fifth stage pushed her out of contention.

Andreanne Lanthier-Nadeau (Rocky Mountain Race Face) was the top Canadian, placing 15th in Maydena.