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Whistler Enduro Championships announced for October

Sports Briefs: West Side Wheel up cancelled; WORCA hosts inaugural Back Forty race; Sea to Sky mountain bikers continue to shine on world stage
The Back Forty
Biker descends down one of Whistler's valley trails used for The Back Forty race.

On Oct. 17 the Sundial Hotel in Whistler will be hosting the Norco Canadian Enduro Championships presented by Concord Pacific.

This will be the top enduro event in Canada and will feature both professional and amateur riders 12 years of age and older.

To help support access for local kids, Concord Pacific will be offsetting entry fees through Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) for in-need families.

Families and individuals who meet the financial requirements for this assistance and want to get involved, can contact WCSS executive director Jackie Dickinson by emailing jackie@mywcss.org or by calling the main office at 604-932-0113 Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Norco Whistler Enduro Championship has also been working with WORCA to ensure that every participant of the event becomes a WORCA member.

Online registration can be found HERE. After registering, racers will be able to pick up their timing chip and racer package at the Sundial Hotel during allotted times that have yet to be announced.

West Side Wheel Up cancelled

In WORCA’s Sept. 6 newsletter, it was announced that the long-running West Side Wheel Up race would not be happening for the second year in a row.

In what would have been its 29th year, organizers of the West Side Wheel Up, just didn’t have the time or the manpower to pull off the event, according to Ferrao.

The approximately 15-kilometre race that typically starts at the AC/DC trail near Nita Lake and ends at A River Runs Through It at Rainbow Park, aims to be back next year in September when the event organizers have more leg room to put it all together.

Anyone who has already signed up for the race will receive a refund.

WORCA hosts Inaugural Back Forty race

The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) hosted the first-ever Back Forty race this past weekend.

The race, designed as a marathon-style cross-country race to take over for the former Nimby 50 in Pemberton, was supposed to have its inauguration last year, but with the COVID-19 pandemic it wasn’t able to run, despite WORCA’s best efforts.

“Originally it was supposed to be for June 2020, we knew that wasn't going to happen. Then we were trying to get it up in the fall of last year, obviously that didn't happen as well. The plan for this year was trying to get it for June again but with COVID and everything it still didn't happen,” said Trevor Ferrao, executive director of WORCA. “So we're just really stoked that we were actually able to put it on and actually run it.”

The 30-kilometre, three-stage race through Whistler’s valley trails saw 97 racers on Saturday with Lies Rodgers and Brittany Phelan winning the men’s and women’s categories, respectfully.

Moving forward, Ferrao hopes to be able to get back to hosting the event in June starting in 2022.

Seat to Sky mountain bikers continue to shine on the world stage

After setting the fastest time in the qualifying round of the downhill World Cup finale in Snowshoe, West Virginia, Whistler mountain biker Finn Iles came up just 1.289 seconds short of first place in the final run.

Despite just missing the top spot, Iles’ time was good enough for a fourth-place finish—his best finish in a World Cup event this season.

Fresh off becoming the junior downhill world champion at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy late last month, Squamish rider Jackson Goldstone finished off the World Cup circuit strong with another podium finish in Snowshoe, placing second.

Goldstone, who, at 17 years of age, is in his first year competing in the Junior World Cup circuit, hasn’t missed the podium in a single event yet and has four first place finishes and two second place finishes in six World Cup appearances.