Whistler has a new tough man competition.
For seven years, The Samurai Of Singletrack held the title of Gnarliest XC Race That I Know Of. Unfortunately, I've never been able to participate, since it had always been held during trade show season, and I was busy selling my soul in Las Vegas.
When the curtain dropped on the SoS, a new sufferfest was created: The Soo Valley Rumble. However, while painful, it somehow lacked the "epicness" of the SoS. I did have the pleasure of partaking in the inaugural event, and suffered mightily for the cause.
There is now a new game in town: The 4 Jacks.
The premise is simple: over 4 days, competitors will amass points for rankings in 4 separate events. It kicks off with a time trial in the valley on the thursday night, followed by a DH in the park, a marathon race and finally a "Backyard Jam" which is a combination of observed trials and time trial, with time bonuses given for attempting and cleaning stunts. The catch? One bike. No specialty machines, no stem swaps, no tire changes. Nothing. You either suffer in the marathon on a pig, or scare yourself silly in the DH.
I set up one of our test pilots on a new Altitude, figuring what better way to get some quick feedback than by beating the snot out of it for 4 days running, in a variety of conditions. Vince finished a respectable 33rd, no thanks to some brutal cramping issues in the Marathon.
When the dust settled, Matt "The Dirty Dingo" Ryan and Sylvie Allen were on the top steps of the podium.
Mens Top 15 (Name-Bike-Tire)
1 Ryan Matt Special Stump 2.2 Captain 2.2 Captain
2 Burch Dave RM Element Ardent 2.35 Ardent 2.35
2 Phelps Kevin Chromag KP Spec 2.35 HiRoller 2.35 Ignitot
4 Johnston Chris Trance 2.1 Nevegal 2.1 Nevegal
5 Grant Greg Anthe 2.25 Ardent 2.25 Ardent
5 Wolsky Dylan Trance 2.35 Larson 2.25 Crossmark
7 McSkimming James Dawg 2.35 Ignitor 2.35 Ignitor
8 Kristevic Oliver Trance 2.35 HiRoller 2.35 HiRoller
9 Stevens Paul Special Pitch 2.3 Special 2.3 Special
10 McDonnell Greg Reign 2.4 Big Betty 2.35 Nevegal
11 Kemp Seb Commencal Dread Tread Kenda 2.1
12 Boehm Mike RM Element Michelin 2.15 Michelin 2.15
13 Klaus Mike Commencal 2.4 Ardent 2.35 Nevegal
14 Hine Julian Chromag Sakura Ardent 2.6 2.35 HiRoller
15 Abel Matteo Special Stump 2.25 Knob 2.1 Ralph
Womens Top 15
1 Allen Sylvie Fluid 2.35 Minion 2.35 HiRoller
2 Paquette Fanny Trek Fuel 2.25 Ardent 2.25 Ardent
3 Strand Katrina Trance 2.35 HiRoller 2.35 HiRoller
4 Heisterman Nicole Reign 2.35 Minion 2.35 HiRoller
5 Bell Paige Reign 2.4 Ardent 2.25 Crossmark 30.5
6 O'Neill Robin Trance 2.25 Ardent 2.25 Ardent
7 Cowan Lynda SC Nomad 2.35 Minion 2.35 Minion
7 Addario Gloria SC Nomad 2.35 Minion 2.35 HiRoller
9 Korthals Lisa Anthem 2.4 Ardent 2.25 Crossmark
10 Zucht Marla Reign 2.5 Syncros 2.35 Minion
11 Robertson Paula Chromag Sakura 2.4 Ardent
12 Gornall Annie Heckler Kenda 2.35 Kenda 2.35
13 Mancer Kari Reign 2.35 Nevegal 2.35 Nevegal 29.8
14 Tabbernor Jennifer Anthem HiRoller 2.35 HiRoller 2.35
14 Benes Nicole Reign 2.4 Ardent 2.25 Advantage