that would compete in local enduro’s, EWS qualifiers, and the Canadian National Enduro Series
(CNES). The athletes, all Whistler locals on this 100% Whistler team, were Zach Eaton, Taylor
Boehme, Nick Mikkelsen, and David Pietfield. 2019 would be a year of learning, skill
development, and good times, as these kids would all have at least 1 to 2 more years in the
junior category to find growth and development. The biggest surprise was not how amazing
these 4 kids were, but how well they did out of the gate and through the season.
Youth in Whistler are pretty remarkable these days. Lots of folks think these kids “only ride
park”. But with the Whistler Offroad Cycling Association (WORCA) managing over 200km of
intense singletrack throughout the Whistler valley, it’s a no-brainer that the youth of Whistler
also have enduro on their minds.
Couple that with big early season Enduro races in Pemberton, EWS qualifiers in both Squamish
and Vedder, and a full EWS in Whistler, and Enduro has become a part of the mountain bike
life-blood of Whistler youth. So it seemed obvious for WORCA (who, as a trail association also
develops young riders through their “Dirt Camps”) and Zep Racing (a local Whistler leader in
race and skill training) to partner to develop these emerging youth enduro racers.
Supported by Knolly Bikes, Chromag, Evolution Cycle Whistler, Coastal Culture Sports, and the
Core Gym, these kids trained and raced from May through October. Under the coaching of Zep
Racing’s senior instructor, Ross Dunlop, the team emerged not only with great results, but with
an amazing skillset and attitude toward racing, teamwork, and support. Whether racing or
riding the local Toonie and Phat Wednesday series, the trademark green Chromag team jerseys
solicited endless rounds of “who are those kids”, not only because of their skills on course, but
their attitude toward the sport.
The future of enduro racing is strong in Whistler. Watch out for these kids and an expanded
team for the upcoming 2020 season.
It would be too much to outline all of the great results achieved in this inaugural year, but
certainly there were stand-out moments for the team. The key events that the youth team
trained for this season were the EWS in Whistler and the first ever UCI Sanctioned Canadian
National Enduro Championships at Panorama Resort, BC. The full youth team entered the
EWS80 in Whistler, and in the U16 category were 2 nd , 3 rd , and 4 th , and 5 th . Taylor Boehm had his best result of the season in 3 rd place, his first race on his 2019 Knolly Fugitive.
Things look bright for the top step next year. In the Canadian National Championships, Nick Mikkelsen stood on the 3 rd step of the podium after over 50km of riding and over 2,500m of climbing. This was one of several podium visits for Nick and his Knolly Carbon Warden this season, including 3 rd in the “Bars of Fury DH” and 1 st in the Whistler “Dirty 30” epic all mountain race, showing the Warden can do anything with the right pilot. These boys were in the top 5 in all of the Canadian National Enduro Series events they entered this year. Knolly is looking forward to supporting these young athletes into the 2020 season.
Follow the @worcawhistler social media pages to keep tabs on these kids as they continue to