NEWS: INTRODUCING THE GRYPHON!
A NEW 5-STAGE ENDURO RACE AT SQUAMISH, B. C.
The Gryphon is a 5 stage enduro race showcasing some of the best riding Squamish has to offer. Categories include pro, open, masters, and junior for both men and women. Presented by Giro Sport Design in Squamish, B.C. it has more pros, a prime pre-Enduro World Series time slot and a town dedicated to its ‘all-mountain’ riding in store for the North American Enduro Tour.
IT'S WEEKEND AFTER WEEKEND OF ACTION
The event falls the weekend before enduro mayhem arrives in British Columbia’s Sea-to-Sky Corridor with the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized and SRAM Canadian Open Challenger Enduro presented by CamelBak touching down at Crankworx Whistler. The former is an Enduro World Series staple, while the latter is intended to provide an option for those working up to EWS-level riding, and it’s expected the Squamish-based Gryphon will attract a number of racers keen on gearing up for both.
“We are trying to create the best Enduro race on what we believe is arguably the best terrain for Enduro racing in the world. Squamish has long been heralded as an all-mountain haven, and that's what we want to showcase to everyone, including the world’s best,” says Dylan Smith, of Squamish Enduro, event organizers.
THE GRYPHON COURSE
The Gryphon course had been kept strictly under wraps, although Smith was committed to ensuring the race never crosses the same point twice—a first for this event in its three year history.
While on course, riders will have views of the Tantalus Range to the north, and the Pacific Ocean in Howe Sound to the south, and be treated to a technical wonderland of soft loamy flow mixed with the gnarly roots and rocks. Squamish is just 45 minutes from Vancouver’s infamous North Vancouver mountains, and 40 minutes from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
Transition stages will be a mix of fire road, double track, and single track and will include everything from moderate grades to steep technical punches with approximately 1200 metres of climbing.
“The course has been designed to challenge all aspects of riding, but has an emphasis put on fast technical sections. This is a course built to race, not just ride,” Smith added, noting the event will be exceptionally well-marked, thanks Giro Sport Design.
The unique stage hosted by OneUp, the longest in the course, have plenty of options to get loose and knock some valuable seconds off the clock—though it was supposed to not have anything overly committing.
North American Enduro Tour (NAET) standings currently have Porsha Murdoch (540 points), Lia Westermann (340 points) and Ileana Anderson (310 points) in first, second and third, respectively, for the women. And Chris Boice (580 points), Jubal Davis (550 points) and Macky Franklin (545 points) battling it out for first, second and third place in the men’s field.
“NAET is really taking off this year and we’re thrilled to see the racing scene embrace what it has to offer. Races like the Gryphon are upping the ante for young and competitive enduro racers who want to either qualify for the Enduro World Series or see and challenge the best terrain on this continent. It’s amazing to see the sport taking off like this,” says Darren Kinnaird, General Manager of NAET.
The prize purse for this event is $500 to top male and female pro, and the overall winners of NAET will divide a $7000 prize pot – $2000 for the male and female first place, $1000 for second place and $500 for third. The racers have to attend the final event in Mascota, Mexico in order to take home the winnings.
Enduro racing is focused on combining the thrill of downhill with a social atmosphere that fosters comradery among friends and competitors, and the Gryphon after party will epitomize how this style of event is done well. The Locavore food truck will be handling catering, while drinks are provided by Philips Beer and prizing will come from Giro Sport Design, OneUp, and 7mesh. Julian Hine, from Chromag, will be bringing the rhythm.
All proceeds from The Gryphon will go to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of The Sea to Sky.
All information and photos by Crankworx and NAET