Tenisch wins inaugural Merritt Enduro

By on June 15, 2017
Merritt’s Jeremy Tenisch negotiates a wall ramp on the downhill section of the Ridge Trail located behind the tourist information centre during Sunday’s Enduro races. (Ian Webster/Herald).

A small but enthusiastic group of 11 riders answered the bell for the first-ever Merritt Enduro mountain bike race on Sunday.

Organized by local bike enthusiast Darch Oborne, the event was held on the scenic trails located above and behind the tourist information centre at the junction of Highways 5A, 8 and 97C.

Enduro is a relatively new form of mountain bike racing that combines challenging climbs with breathtaking, timed descents. It is said to be a consumate test of a rider’s stamina, expertise and courage.

Sunday’s partici-pants completed three stages — the Ridge Trail, the Upper Ridge Trail and Deerhunter.

In each stage, the ascent to the top of the trail took riders upwards of half an hour, while the downhill portion took only a few  minutes, and included walls, ramps, jumps and rock drops.

Seven of the 11 participants in Sunday’s Enduro managed to finish all three uphill and downhill phases.

Emerging victorious was Merritt’s own Jeremy Tenisch, age 24, who won all three downhills in a combined time of 17 minutes and 37 seconds. He was followed closely by Kelowna’s Mike Acton (19:03) and Merritt’s Darren Yastremsky (20:02).

The remaining finishers were locals Ryan Marklund (20:48) and Ryan Yastremsky (20:48), Jason Jackson from Fort McMurray (23:13) and Angelina Cavaliere (29:05) who also acted as sweep for all three runs.

Oborne is hoping to hold a sanctioned Enduro event in the Nicola Valley next year.

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