Sports Briefs: Whistler added to new Enduro World Series 

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Whistler added to new Enduro World Series

In between the diverging mountain bike sports of cross-country and downhill, a new category of bikes and biking has arisen recently — freeriding. The bikes are a hybrid of cross-country and downhill bikes, and riders are not opposed to long climbs in the mountains to get to the best descents.

The trend has sparked a new category of enduro events that are huge in Europe and are starting to draw more attention in North America as well. Basically, riders will do a long course with several climbs and descents in a day, but will only be timed on certain sections — sometimes on technical climbs, but usually on the long, technical descents.

Crankworx Whistler, it was announced this week, has been confirmed as host for one of the seven international events that will be included in the new Enduro World Series, which will launch in 2013.

The event, sanctioned by the Enduro Mountain Bike Association, will launch in May in Punta Ala, Italy before heading to France for the an event at Val d'Allos and Crankworx Les 2 Alpes. After that the tour will come to North America for the Colorado Freeride Festival (July 27-28) and Crankworx Whistler (Aug. 10-11) before returning to Europe for events at Val d'Isere, France and Ligure Italy. The complete schedule is at www.enduroworldseries.com.

There was a bit of foreshadowing that the event would be coming to Whistler with Darren Kinnaird, the manager of both Crankworx festivals being named to the world series' board of directors the previous week. The tour itself was confirmed on Nov. 22.

"Since the series was announced on Nov. 22, we had a really short time frame to pull together the 2013 Enduro World Series calendar," said Chris Ball, managing director for the series. "EMBA has worked incredibly hard to produce a calendar that includes the biggest endure races in the best locations, on the best trails in the world. We're really excited about our 2013 events and we are proud to embrace the Enduro Des Nations event in France, the birthplace of the sport."

Garibaldi Open House tonight

The open house on the draft plan of the Garibaldi Park Management Plan takes place today, Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Whistler Conference Centre, providing the public an opportunity to comment on plans regarding the area of the park adjacent to Whistler.

Currently the draft plan supports the creation of a hut network on the Spearhead Traverse and heli-skiing within the area, but is opposed to reintroducing mountain biking to the Singing Pass area. The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association has created its own proposal for allowing uphill-only biking on the Singing Pass trail and then building a downhill to Cheakamus Lake. They are encouraging their 1,800 members to come out and voice their support for the plan at the Dec. 6 meeting.

To see the draft plan, visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/planning/mgmtplns/garibaldi/garibaldi_mp.html.

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