Kovarik, Buchar top Phat Weekend 

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The first of two Phat Weekend races hosted by Whistler Blackcomb took place this past weekend with a $1,500 prize purse and a fast race down Fantastic, Upper Whistler Downhill and Lower Whistler Downhill.

Chris Kovarik and Claire Buchar, a couple with World Cup experience, brought home the top cash prizes by winning their respective categories.

In Open Men, Kovarik finished in 2:23.02 to take the win by more than four seconds. A couple of junior riders with the provincial team rounded out the podium, jumping up to the open class to have a shot at the prize money. Remi Gauvin was second 2:27.18, while Whistler's Zander Geddes placed third in 2:27.51.

Rounding out the top 10 were Cameron Porteous in 2:30.55, Denis Courchesne in 2:31.38, Joshua Fuller in 2:32.61, Tobias Lonfat in 2:34.11, Justin Dale in 2:34.51, Trev Burke in 2:35.42 and Andy Clarke in 2:35.47.

There were only three riders in Female Open. Buchar's 2:43.67 took the win by a long margin, followed by Pat Morena in 3:01.18 and Maria Darquier in 3:08.10.

In Master Male, Jon Moon took the checkered flag in 2:34.92, followed by Steve Storey in 2:35.54 and Robin Potvin in 2:37.31. Also in the top 10 were Chris Dewar in 2:37.86, Daniel Taliana in 2:43.60, Adam Dagg in 2:43.74, Corrie Mullin in 2:45.04, Shannon Kingi in 2:45.57, Shawn Beaudoin in 2:54.88 and Jeremy Boggs in 2:57.44.

Jack Iles was the top junior in 2:30.75, followed by Tiago Azzi in 2:37.26 and Brad Jansen in 2:48.31. In the top 10 were Jesse Merks in 2:56.25, Tyler Tourond in 2:56.31, Alex Auger in 2:57.02, Jackson Bathgate in 2:58.27, Cooper Bathgate in 3:14.82, Kolt T. Hoyle in 3:37.05 and Hamza Green in 4:05.69.

As well as the prize money, the usual post-race draw prizes were up for grabs. Joshua Fuller won the Sram drivetrain, Viv Bone won the Kali helmet, Paul Sales the Avid brakes, Jack Iles the Rock Shox fork, Alex Waddicor the GoPro camera and Shannon Kingi the Kokanee camp chair.

There is one Phat Weekend race remaining, taking place Sept. 29 and 30. You can register in advance online (www.whistlerbike.com) and in person at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations. You need to be a member of WORCA to race, but single day event memberships are available for $25.

The Phat Weekends are not the only event remaining on the bike park calendar. Back for a second year is the Chasse Au Tresor on Oct. 6, a scavenger hunt in the bike park that will test overall bike park knowledge. Riders can compete in teams of two or four, and must participate in the morning briefing before heading out in search of clues.

The event wraps up with a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner at the GLC, along with an amateur video contest, "What's Your Element," and the season wrap party. The park closes after Monday, Oct. 8.

The entry fee for that event is $35 for the event and the dinner, or $10 for just the event. Discounted lift tickets ($16) are available for registered riders, and non-riders will be able to get a ticket to the dinner at a price still to be determined. You can pre-register at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations, or sign up on the day of the event at the GLC from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The rider meeting is at 11 a.m. and the hunt starts at 11:15 a.m. For more, visit www.whistlerbike.com/events/chasse/.

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