Sports briefs: Picton continues winning streak in Squamish

Local racer performs at Gryphon Enduro, Melamed places top 10 at EWS

After racing for six straight weekends, Whistler enduro racer Leonie Picton is feeling fatigued. But that didn’t stop her from topping the Pro Women’s field at the Gryphon — Squamish’s entry into the Sea to Sky Enduro Series — on Saturday (May 23).

The fastest on the course was Squamish local Rhys Werner, who came in at 13 minutes, two seconds (13:02), significantly shorter than a typical enduro race.

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“Some of the trails were very pedaly, but there was still a lot of tech involved,” said Picton, who won with a time of 15:35. “The middle three stages were very tech heavy, keeping the flow was really important. It was very different from last weekend’s (North American Enduro series) in Whistler. You got to the top of the trail and you weren’t exhausted and by the time I got to the bottom on some stages I wasn’t even panting.”

Despite the race being more of a sprint than an endurance test, Picton said it was still good experience for her this season.

“Having a short race means if you make a mistake there’s not a lot of time throughout the rest of the day to make it up,” she said. “It was pretty important to have everything go well. I had a few ‘whoopsie-daisies’ but no crashes. I just had to keep on the pedals and not be lazy. On Saturday I felt like I was able to let it go a bit more and let the new bike do more of the work.”

Picton will be taking a well-deserved rest this weekend before gearing up for the third stop of the BC Enduro Series in Penticton on June 7, but will not be missing the first Phat Wednesday race this week (May 27) in the Whistler Bike Park.

Seawolves perform well at local swim meet

Local kids got a chance to race on home ground this past weekend May (23 - 24) with more than 95 swimmers attending the Seawolves’ first sanctioned meet. Robyn Minton managed second in the 10-and-under age group in every event and Georgia Strim achieved winning times in four events. Oliver Strim, Gregor Tait, Jamie Tait, and Felix Shorter all dominated their age groups in every event.

Phat Wednesday returns

The Whistler Bike Park’s weekly downhill race series is back for 2015 and kicking off this week (May 27) on B-Line. Registration is from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Hut at the base of the GLC stairs on a first come, first served basis with a cap of 200 riders.

Cost of registration is $5, but there are also 150 series passes available for $45, which guarantees entry to all nine events over the summer and avoids race-day lineups for plate collection.

Melamed makes top 10 in Ireland

Whistler racer Jesse Melamed was jubilant after managing ninth place at the Enduro World Series (EWS) stop in Wicklow, Ireland. He was the top ranking Canadian in the stacked field of professional enduro racers.

“(I’m) stoked to put a solid day together and finish 9th overall!” wrote Melamed on his Facebook page. “First legit top-10 finish. Pretty surprised with my times today, a couple top-five stage finishes, but I have been putting the work in since New Zealand so it’s good to see it’s working.”

The next EWS race will be taking place this weekend (May 30 - 31) in Tweed Valley, Scotland.

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