The highly anticipated Canadian Open Enduro race took center stage as grand finale of Crankworx Whistler, captivating riders and spectators alike. Co-produced by Crankworx and the Canadian Enduro League and sanctioned by Cycling Canada, this prestigious event saw elite riders from across the globe competing for the sought-after Canadian Championship titles. 

The atmosphere was one of electricity as riders gathered to take on the challenging and newly unveiled Canadian Enduro MTB Championship track.  

Several classic stages from the event’s past returned this year. Racers got to challenge themselves from summit to valley, racing the iconic Top of the World trail. Former Enduro World Series stages and notorious Blackcomb tech trails Crazy Train and Hey Bud were back on the menu after several years away. While Whistler Mountain Bike Park added more race stages, on the main mountain and in the newer Creekside area, including new trails Odessa and Call Me Maybe, before finally finishing below in Skiers Plaza in Whistler Village. 

As the afternoon progressed, it became evident that this would be a day to remember in the Canadian mountain biking community, as Jesse Melamed and Brittany Phelan emerged triumphant as Canadian Open Enduro champions claiming their coveted maple leaf sleeves. Additionally, the hard-charging Canucks ended up dominating five of the six total tspots across the Elite Men’s and Women’s podiums. The strong Canadian contingency showcased their skills, resilience and determination on the physically demanding track. 

Sea-to-Sky local, and last year’s EWS Whistler Champion, Jesse Melamed expressed a mixture of elation and relief following his big win on home soil. 

“I’m feeling stoked and relieved. It was a big day! For the sleeve, we had really tough competition, Rhys has just been on fire this year. I really wanted the sleeve because I think it’s really cool to represent your country on the world stage,” said Melamed. 

He acknowledged the tough competition posed by Rhys Verner, (who currently leads Melamed by 79 pts in the Enduro World Cup standings) and the pressure to perform well.  

“We both had adversity today, and we kind of battled through it. He’s beating me in the World Cup overall, so I had a lot of pressure. But, you really just have to go out and have fun and push your bike as much as you can and you’re gonna end up where you end up. Honestly, I made the conscious decision that I would be stoked for Rhys if he won, so I think I was just happy for either one of us to do it. So, once you do that, you just decide to go forth and battle.” 

Brittany Phelan, beaming with joy, expressed her satisfaction with the day’s races. Her familiarity with the first two stages helped her secure a good lead, and she reveled in the opportunity to ride well and hit her lines perfectly.  

“It was an awesome day out there, the first two stages were on trails that I ride quite a lot. So, just to kind of get those in the bag and have a good lead was pretty cool. Just to be able to enjoy each stage individually, and ride really well and hit the lines I wanted to hit. I just had such a good day riding my bike,” exclaimed Phelan. 

“I just trusted my riding, I trusted my fitness and just left no stone unturned on the track every single stage. I felt like I did that and I had a bunch of friends cheering me on, so that was really cool too.” 

The men’s category saw Rhys Verner put up a spirited fight, winning stage four and earning himself a well-deserved second-place finish. Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Miranda Miller demonstrated her veteran prowess on short-notice as she also dug deep to clinch the third spot on the podium. 

Rhys Verner, who pushed Jesse Melamed to his limits, spoke of the tough battles they fought on several stages. 

“It was great. I definitely kept him honest on three stages. Stage 3 was so long and the time gaps kind of opened up. I was pretty stoked to be close to Jesse through stages 1 and 2, and then to get a win on stage 4 was pretty cool as well. I was just stoked to keep him honest and make him work him work for it a little bit,” said Verner. 

“The descents were so gnarly and long, I was more exhausted from the downhill than the uphill most of the time. Yeah, the Top of The World run was a lot. It was like 16 minutes, that’s a long time to be really focused and really on it and everything.” 

Miranda Miller, who made a last-minute decision to race, embraced the challenges of enduro racing. She found joy and fulfillment in the day’s events, particularly relishing the technical and fun trails.  

“Yeah I’m pretty stoked. Sometimes, racing enduro seems hard when you think about the entire day, but I think the course here was really fun and challenging in the way that I like sending. I think it’s really cool when they put the focus on like good trails, technical trails, things like that. I really enjoyed the day, some ups and downs, but that’s kind of just enduro.” 

The Canadian Open Enduro race at Crankworx Whistler lived up to its reputation as a premier event in the mountain biking world. The thrilling races, heartening performances, and emotional quotes from the champions showcased the spirit of camaraderie and passion that unite riders from around the globe. 

As the dust settled on the thrilling final day of another unforgettable festival, the mountain biking community celebrated the triumphs of the champions and the indomitable spirit of all the riders who took part. The heart-pounding races, awe-inspiring performances, and emotional moments from the champions showcased the spirit of camaraderie and passion that unite riders from around the globe. 

Canadian Open Enduro Results:

  1. Jesse MELAMED (CAN) 37:50.4 / Brittany PHALEN (CAN) – 45:54.6
  2. Rhys VERNER (CAN)– 38:11.6 / Miranda MILLER (CAN) – 46:31.4
  3. Remi GAUVIN (CAN) – 38:41.5 / Florencia ESPINEIRA HERREROS (CHI) – 48:32.4

See full results: Here

Catch all the replays on Red Bull TV, and stay up to date on all things Crankworx at Crankworx.com.

Photos for media use: Here

About the Crankworx World Tour

Crankworx is the ultimate experience in mountain biking. Born in Whistler, B.C. in 2004, Crankworx has evolved into a multi-stop international festival series. The Crankworx World Tour brings together the best mountain bike athletes to compete in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. Crankworx World Tour festivals also host races for amateurs, CWNEXT categories for next gen athletes, Kidsworx contests for young riders, participatory events and celebrations of mountain bike culture, all while showcasing amazing destinations. For additional information, visit crankworx.com.