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United States | Southeast | California >> WHO put those hay bales there?! The story of XFondo Whistler 2024

WHO put those hay bales there?!

The story of XFondo Whistler 2024

Before we get into the story of XFondo Whistler 2024, we have some names that need thanking.

Chaac/Tlaloc: The Mesoamerican Storm God of Many Names, Indra: The Bringer of Storms on a White Elephant, Raijin: The Drum-Beating Kami of Thunder, Perun: Storm God and Slavic Patron of War, Mother Nature and many more.

The story of XFondo Whistler 2024

Whoever your chosen weather god is these days, it's time to get out the gratitude chants for this past weekend which - somehow - turned out perfectly. With a forecast that painted a foreboding picture, we were actually treated to a delight of a day. And that meant everyone was able to focus on the most important thing...

A true celebration of all terrain

"HOLY SMOKES!" yelled volunteer marshal Rob, stationed atop the penultimate switchback descent before the finish. Jade Koide had just ripped around the barely cambered 90 degree-r like it didn't exist on her way to claiming a podium spot in the Longer distance. Her bike disappeared into the yonder before peace returned back to the forest.

"WOOOAH" bellowed the next call barely minutes later, Rob's boots lifting up off the ground. This time Stefan Curtis had come hurtling down deep in the drops, drifting his Landyachtz fully sideways, a grin etched from ear to ear as the gravel went spraying. Down below, the finish line was starting to buzz as 270 athletes began arriving back home having taken on one of the three challenging distances across trail, dirt, road and the dusty stuff. 

Narratives

So what were some of our favourite stories of the day? Firstly, the amount of reports coming in of trail camaraderie and riders looking out for each other was beautiful. Sister Sledge sang it and you lived it: we are family.

Next up, the absolute crickets of silence that was the medical dispatch phone line. The day's "biggest" incident? Cramp. We tried putting out hay bales for you to fall over during the Le Mans start. Nada. Gursh claimed he nearly died but looked pretty happy about it later. Even the rubble underneath Further's Rutherford Creek bridge caused only a few tumbles - and that stuff is savage staying upright on (if you've tried, you know).

Do you know what wasn't silent? The WORCA donation button being smashed both before the event and at the bike wash station. THANK YOU for helping to raise over $1500!

Speaking of Further, much amusement was found in the confusion between category names. "I'm riding the longer version", said more than a few riders not actually signed up for the middle "Longer" distance. Next year, we'll change those names, although perhaps not to the option that Neil is lobbying for on a weekly basis.

What else? The Friday course briefing and happy hour at RMU went down a treat, as did the Rivian demo drives around the village. You lot seemed to like the swag of XFondo slides footwear, plus the beer koozie and spork medal (bikepacking trip, anyone?). HOW ABOUT THE VOLUNTEERS? Superstars, every single one of them. Massive massive thanks, for without you there would be no XFondo.

And how about the amount of women on the startline in 2024? With 22% female registration, double vs last year, we're looking to this growth being a real foundation to expand on further in future years! Girl power.

Okay okay, so you're all winners, but here's how the podiums looked after a big day of racing:

Shorter 43km

 

1st - wins $100 Brewhouse GC

2nd

3rd

Women

Natasha Romero

Vancouver BC

Svenja Huelsen

Vancouver BC

Elliot Kulach

Vancouver BC

Men

Kyle Sauve

North Vancouver BC

Torsten Eder

North Vancouver BC

Daniel Bautis

Port Coquitlam BC

Longer 60km

In the Longer, the highlight came from Grace Menning successfully defending her title from last year, an absolutely epic effort.

 

1st - wins $100 Brewhouse GC

2nd

3rd

Women

Grace Menning

Vancouver BC

Jade Koide

Vancouver BC

Alice Clarke

Vancouver BC

Men

Mike Perreten

Vancouver BC

Jay Menning

Vancouver BC

Pedro Peralta Elgueta

Burnaby BC

Further 73km

Further saw a mens battle of the brands, with Stefan representing Landyachtz pipping Kyle of Forecast/Wilder Cookies by a mere 4 minutes. For the ladies, Helena Sverak took home not just the champagne but some spot prizing in the beer garden to book

 

1st - wins 2x Scandinave Spa passes

2nd

3rd

Women

Helena Sverak

Vancouver BC

Marcy Kirby

Victoria BC

Laura Thompson

Vancouver BC

Men

Stefan Curtis

Burnaby BC

Kyle Smith

Vancouver BC

Erik Hauner

North Vancouver BC

Friends give friends appreciation. Make sure you tag/photo credit @chrisbdutton and Eddie Muscroft photography if you download/share their images below! Here are some of the highlights...

Ab-st-olutely awesome - Landyachtz bike winner

Major congratulations to James Orara of Seattle WA. This champion of a man not only decked out the Longer course in a strong 4 hours 7 minutes, but was also announced on stage as the winner of a Landyachtz AB-st gravel bike!

All riders registered before May 31 were eligible to win, and James was that lucky someone.

Said James: "I've never won an AB-st before!", or words to those effect...

Photo: James Orara, winner of bikes

XFondo will be back June 14, 2025

Now that the trucks are unpacked and the spare beers consumed, it's time for us to turn our attention to the next piece of fun in the calendar that we're responsible for: RBC GranFondo Whistler on Sept 7 of this year. With over 5000 riders expected and trending higher signups than 2023, it's gonna be another bumper cycling fiesta bonanza party special.

Meanwhile, save the date for next year's XFondo Whistler, returning to Spruce Grove on Sat June 14. Registration will open this Fall, so keep your eyes peeled for more on that.

Link to 2024 XFondo Results: https://www.xfondo.com/whistler.html#extAccordion8-c1

 
Tag: rbcgranfondo
 
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