When Jesse Melamed flew into the Enduro World Series finish corral Sunday evening, set in the heart of Whistler Villiage, a thunderous roar went up from the gathered crowd. The Canadian had passed his rival Richie Rude on course, cementing his EWS win at home in Whistler.
Adding to the crowd’s frenzy was that, moments before, Remi Gauvin had earned his own place on the Pro Men’s podium. The two Canadians finish 1-3 on a very big day for Canada at the Enduro World Series. Earlier that afternoon Canadian riders, led by Seth Sherlock, swept the top five spots of the under-21 men’s race.
Melamed reigns on home turf
For Melamed, it’s not just a home country win. The Rocky Mountain Race Face rider is a born-and-raised Whistler local and many of his family, friends, and fans lined the finish corral.
Melamed led the two-day race from the first of six race stages, winning Saturday’s Pro Stage as well as three of five race stages on Sunday. Richie Rude (Yeti Fox) kept the Canadian under pressure by finishing second on most stages and winning the Stage 3 Queen Stage. A flat on the final stage ended Rude’s chances of another upset in Whistler, opening the door for Melamed to take the win.
Jack Moir (Canyon Cllctv), winner of the 2021 Enduro World Series title, also benefited from Rude’s mechanical woes. The lanky Australian won the fifth and final stage on Sunday by over eight seconds, catapulting him into second.
Remi Gauvin, Melamed’s long-time teammate on Rocky Mountain Race Face, finished fourth on the final stage. That moved him up three positions and, crucially, onto the podium in third.
Adding to the maple-flavoured madness, Rhys Verner (Forbidden) and Jack Menzies (We Are One) both finished inside the top 10. Verner in eighth and Menzies in ninth, his first time inside the top-10 of a Pro EWS.
Evan Wall (Devinci Global Racing) took a big step up the standings in 12th, Carter Krasny finished 14th and McKay Vezina (Giant Factory Team) 15th, giving Canada just shy of half of the top-15 positions.
Late race disaster for Lanthier-Nadeau
For Andréane Lanthier-Nadeau, the final stage in Whistler played out opposite of her Rocky Mountain Race Face teammates. A steadily building string of mechanicals and a lingering ankle injury culminated in a crash near the top of Sunday’s final stage. The fall came at a crucial point, costing the Canadian significant momentum before the massive step down drop on the new 1199 trail. ALN slid from first going into the stage to fifth at the finish line.
Harriet Harnden (Trek Factory Racing) backed up her win on Saturday’s Pro Stage with another big win on Sunday’s fifth stage to claim the win. Morgane Charre (Pivot Factory Racing) takes second in a rollercoaster Pro Women’s race that saw four stage winners in six stages. Flo Espineira (Orbea Fox) rounds out the podium in third.
Miranda Miller (Kona) added a big 10th place finish, Whistler local Georgia Astle (Devinci Global Racing) 15th and Julia Long 18th.
Canada sweeps Under-21 Men
Seth Sherlock (Intense Factory Racing) landed his first EWS win in Whistler. The Squamish local, who has mixed World Cup downhill and enduro this season to great success, led a Canadian sweep of the top five u21 spots. Emmett Hancock (We Are One) lands his first EWS podium in second with Lief Rodgers (Giant Canada) rounding out the podium in third. Colby Pringle and Marcus Goguen finished fourth and fifth, adding to a dominant performance by the home team.
On the women’s side, Lily Boucher finished fifth behind race winner Paz Gallo Fuentes of Chile in a race that had fewer entries, but similar time gaps between the top riders.