Enduro mountain bike racing presents an interesting dichotomy.
There are downhill sections that are raced with untimed transition sections in between. So riders go back and forth between leisurely social rides and high-speed white-knuckle ones.
It’s a perfect mix for Whitehorse’s Mike Abbott.
“Mountain biking is all about having fun, getting a little bit of adrenaline going and going fast downhill. That’s why I do it,” said Abbott.
He was in the right spot for all that last Saturday. Abbott was one of 19 riders to take part in the CarCranked Enduro 2016 on Carcross’ Montana Mountain.
“It was excellent. There aren’t that many mountain bike races in Whitehorse these days, definitely not many downhill oriented ones, so it’s nice to go out and challenge yourself a bit,” said Abbott. “Saturday was all about going and having a big group ride with a little friendly competition on some of the best trails in Canada.”
After five race sections on various trails, Abbott took first place on the long course at the event hosted by the Contagious Mountain Bike Club (CMBC). He beat four-time Yukon mountain biking champ David Gonda by 59 seconds.
“It’s probably the fastest I’ve ever tried to ride those trails, but no near misses,” said Abbott. “The pedaling was the hardest part. I thought I didn’t win because there’s so much pedaling in there. I thought someone else would be ahead of me.”
The third annual event also offered kids divisions and a three-stage short course.
CMBC president Sierra van der Meer was the top female on the long course, tying for fifth overall.
“Kendra (Murray) had a flat (tire) on the first stage, which is why she has such a slow time on that stage, and then I dropped my chain on two other stages. So the women were a little bit marred by mechanicals in the race, but that’s the way it goes,” said van der Meer.
“Enduro is a really fun way to race because you can take time between each segment and hangout with people and talk to folks, be relaxed before you have to do the racing part,” she added.
The trails on Montana Mountain are epic, according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association. In 2011, the association inducted the Mountain Hero Trail on Montana Mountain into its Epic Trails category.
“It would be nice to get more people to sign up next time,” said Abbott. “There were a lot of people riding that day but not everyone seemed to want to sign up. It would be fun to have more people in the event.”
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1st Mike Abbott – 27:30
2nd David Gonda – 28:29
3rd Jean-Paul Molgat – 31:03
4th Thane Phillips – 31:16
5th Sierra van der Meer – 34:20
5th Dan Reimer – 34:20
7th Kendra Murray – 48:37
1st Vince Cournoyer – 16:39
2nd Toby Guzik – 19:00
3rd Chrissy McConnell – 23:20
4th Jenn MacKeigan – 29:15
5th Krysti Horton – 30:38
1st Victor Thibeault – 35:10
2nd Jamie Phillips – 36:51
3rd Daniel Phillips – 56:46
Kids rec class
1st Jonah McConnell – 7:14
2nd Owen Hogan – 7:35
3rd Micah McConnell – 8:00
4th Keiran n/a – 11:13