Some 156 racers made it through all five sections of the Battle for Bond, a women's only enduro competition hosted by WORCA that continues the tradition that started in 2011 with Betty vs. Veronica and continued in 2012 with Charlie's Angels.
While the first two races were classic cross-country events, The Battle for Bond only timed women on five stages of the races, letting them take their time in between sections.
The first section was Tunnel Vision. Laura Ogden posted the fastest time, 6 minutes and 46 seconds, followed by Fanny Paquette in 6:47 and Amy Price in 6:49.
Stage two was a descent on Big Timber after a climb up Kadenwood Road. Ogden was first in that section as well in 3:49, with Rebecca McQueen finishing slightly back in second. Third was Gloria Addario in 4:03.
Stage three includes a section of Lower Sproatt, Three Birds and Middle Danimal. Fanny Paquette went on to win that challenging stage in 7:08, followed by Amy Price in 7:16 and Sylvie Allen in 7:19.
Stage 4, which was all of 99er, also went to Paquette in 3:57, followed by Ogden in 4:11 and Sylvie Allen in 4:13.
The fifth and final stage was all of Danimal North, including the last section under the power lines and an uphill finish. Georgie Astle won that stage in 5:15, followed by Paquette in 5:21 and Ogden a fraction of a second later.
After five stages the overall winner was Paquette with a combined time of 27 minutes and 28 seconds, followed by Amy Price in 28:01 and Ogden with a 38:02. Rounding out the top 10 were Gloria Addario, Sylvie Allen, Georgie Astle, Leonie Picton, Rebecca McQueen, Sarah Olner and Nicole Heisterman.
Paquette was surprised by the win, as they had no updates over the course of the day and everybody was taking a more laid back approach than usual.
"It was a really chill and easy day and I wasn't really expecting the win — although I guess somebody had to take it," she said.
Paquette said she likes the enduro format because it's social, riders do the long climbs together and hang out together at the starts before racing down the timed course sections.
"I was riding with friends and we had a crew together for the first two stages, and I was riding with a group of three other girls on the last three stages. It was pretty laid back and social, and nobody was stressed — it's just fun," she said.
"I really liked the stuff like 99er and 3 Birds because they're awkward and no-flow with punchy little climbs and that's the kind of thing I'm good at.
"I didn't even think about winning, I really had no clue out there and it didn't cross my mind. Even when I was racing I was mixed in with the pack of girls riding together and there was a lot of passing going on."
The event encouraged the racers to dress up as Bond girls, and a number of unique awards were handed out over the course of the gala awards night at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Carrie Meltzer was given the grand prize of a pair of bike forks. She placed 24th overall and was in the top 15 in two stages after having a baby just two months earlier.
The two junior girls in the race, Georgia Astle (sixth overall and first on the last stage) and Jennifer McTavish (28th overall and 11th on the first stage) also got SRAM X-0 derailleurs for their efforts.
Cathy Jewett, who finished exactly in the middle of the pack, was given a Reverb seat post.
The event raised over $4,000 for the Howe Sound Women's Centre.
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