By Jason Sumner, VeloNews associate editor
Two days removed from the World Cup downhill at Grouse Mountain, just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, a handful of the circuit’s best gravity riders made the two-hour trip north up Highway 99 to Whistler to contest a pair of races at the famous ski resort. First up was Monday’s Joyride BikerCross (same concept as mountain cross and/or four-cross), where Frenchman Cédric Gracia and American Jill Kintner earned wins on the track that snaked its way towards the main village underneath the Fitzsimmons chairlift.
In the men’s final, Gracia (Siemens-Cannondale) grabbed the lead early, then held off a late charge by South African Greg Minnaar (Haro-Lee Dungarees). Minnaar’s teammate Mike King wound up third with Scott Beaumont trailing across in fourth.
The final women’s race saw Kintner overcome an early deficit to Frenchwoman Sabrina Jonnier (Intense), then cruise home for the win. Jonnier held on for second, with Britain’s Tracy Moseley (Kona-Clarks) third and Aussie Tai-Lee Muxlo (Tioga Orange) in fourth.
Next up is Tuesday’s Air Downhill, which will be contested starting at 1 p.m. on Whistler’s famed A-Line trail. Both events are part of the weeklong Whistler Summer Gravity Festival that will conclude next weekend with the Canadian mountain bike national championships.