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Whistlerites in motion: Goldstone, Iles win World Cup in Italy

The pair headlines a successful few weeks for Sea to Sky mountain bikers around the world
Jackson Goldstone won his first elite World Cup race on July 1, 2023 in Val di Sole, Italy.

Welcome back to your recap of Sea to Sky athletes and their exploits. Area mountain bikers have been lighting it up at various competitions far and wide, as usual, and none so far have hit it bigger than Jackson Goldstone and Finn Iles.

There can be few race tracks more intimidating than the infamous "Black Snake" of Val di Sole Trentino, and once again it showed its teeth at the third round of the UCI Downhill World Cup on Canada Day. Yet Goldstone and Iles both proved capable of charming the snake en route to a one-two podium finish. 

Goldstone was able to navigate the rapidly-changing conditions on track shrewdly on his way to the inaugural elite-level win of his career. Iles came close but couldn’t quite match the 19-year-old’s pace. France’s Thibaut Daprela rounded out the top three with a trademark roller coaster of a ride.

Goldstone now leads the overall rankings with Iles in second and Loris Vergier in third.

The women went first on a tumultuous Saturday. Valentina Höll threw down a masterclass. After putting down the fastest time in the semi-final, she backed it up with a convincing win of nearly three seconds in the final. Camille Balanche was forced to settle for second, with Jess Blewitt posting her best race result to date to finish third. Gracey Hemstreet of Sechelt managed seventh place. 

With five races left this season, Balanche sits atop the overall standings ahead of Höll in second and Rachel Atherton in third. 

In other news, Jakob Jewett won at Crankworx Innsbruck a few weeks ago, as did Dane Jewett and Tegan Cruz. Meanwhile, Jesse Melamed and Andreane Lanthier Nadeau came close in enduro.

The future of Sea to Sky mountain biking looks ever bright, with youngsters like Dylan Marino and Caileigh Koppang introducing themselves to the competitive scene. 

Whistler Gymnastics also recently hosted its annual Summer Classic in town, with numerous local athletes reaching the podium.

Three-time Olympic medallist Kaetlyn Osmond is visiting the Whistler Skating Club later in August.

If you're looking for a different kind of adrenaline rush this summer, check out wheeled bobsled rides at the Whistler Sliding Centre. 

Check back in with Pique Newsmagazine for the latest Sea to Sky sports news and features highlighting the athletes you know and love. Don't forget our new weekly sports trivia series.

Have a local sports tip? Contact sports reporter David Song at [email protected]