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Weekend Preview: Whiskey 50 and the Wildside enduro

From B.C. to Quebec and south to Arizona, there's a big serving of racing across North America this weekend

Derek Zandstra at the 2017 Whiskey 50 Proof race in Prescott, Arizona. (Photo: IG @derekzandstra)

While World Cup downhill racing gets going in Slovenia, its also big race weekend back on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Some of Canada’s fastest cross country racers are down in Prescott, Arizona for the classic Whiskey 50 Off-Road race. Up north, B.C. enduro gets rolling with races in Pemberton and Nakusp, while Quebec XCO starts off at Bromont.

The men's field races at the 2017 Whisky Fat Tire Crit (Photo: Scott Kelly)
The men’s field races at the 2017 Whisky Fat Tire Crit (Photo: Scott Kelly)
Whiskey 50 Off-Road – Prescott, Arizona

Whiskey 50, the classic American endurance race in Prescott, Arizona has attracted quite the field this year. Catharine Pendrel will line up with her Clif Pro teammates against reigning XCO world champion Kate Courtney, who is so excited about the event she wrote a song. On the men’s side, Geoff Kabush lines up against some of North America’s top pros. Racing starts Friday evening with the Fat Tire Crit, while the main event, the long course 50 mile Pro Back Country race goes off on Sunday.

RELATED: 2019 Provincial cross country and marathon calendar

Marin Wildside Enduro – Nakusp, B.C.

Quebec-based enduro series Marin Wildside Enduro gets a jump-start on racing season every year by heading west. As in seasons past, the series kicks off in Nakusp, B.C. while Quebec digs itself out from a deep winters snowpack. The series stays out west the following weekend, stopping for the second round in Kamloops, B.C. before returning to Quebec in June.

RELATED: How to watch: World Cup downhill #1 in Maribor, Slovenia

Pemberton Enduro – Pemberton, B.C.

For its sixth year, PORCA’s sold out Pemberton Enduro is going blind. Organizers are returning to a blind racing format for the event, so riders won’t find out what the course is until race day. While exact routing remains TBA, anyone who managed to register on time can expect around 35 km of the steep, technical and fast riding Pemberton is gaining a reputation for, excellent views of Mt. Currie. Awards are at Pemberton Distillery, to help sooth sore bodies after 1,700m of climbing squeezed in between stages.

RELATED: Calendrier vélo de montagne Québec 2019

Classique printanière Yves Eugster – Bromont (XCO)

While Nakusp starts off the provinces enduro season, the first race on the Quebec calendar to take place in Quebec is the Classique preintaniére Yves Eugster. Bromont takes on hosting duties for this early season XCO event.