Kovarik takes Phat Wednesday, again 

Jesse Melamed and Sarah Leishman top Friday enduro event

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PHAT TIRE Whistler downhill riders had two races crammed in before Crankworx puts all the local racing on hold for a few weeks. Photo by Sterling Lorence courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb.

Heading into Crankworx the Phat Wednesday organizers crammed in two races last week.

The usual Phat Wednesday event was structured to give Whistler riders competing in Crankworx a bit of home trail advantage. The usual Phat Wednesday difficulty level was cranked up with the race last week taking place on Joyride and the Canadian Open to take advantage of terrain that will be used for Crankworx.

The second race was an enduro on Friday, August 2.

The event on Friday was the second WB enduro event of the summer. The event featured three stages and tested more than just downhill skills as entrants had to ride up before they rode down.

Jesse Melamed had the fastest combined time of 12 minutes and three seconds while Sarah Leishman set the fastest women's pace with a combined time of 14 minutes and 31 seconds.

Matt Ryan was the quickest Master Male at 12:27 and Bowen Irvine was the top junior finisher with a time of 13 minutes and 52 seconds.

The first stage of the enduro had riders on Mackenzie River, Duffman, Golden Triangle, and EZ Does It then up Shady Acres to Del Boca Vista and EZ Does It again.

The transition into the second stage was a ride up the mountain road to After Atlantis and the start of the second stage to ride down Karate Monkey, Samurai Pizza Cat, Ho Chi Min, the Heart of Darkness traverse and Family X.

The transition to the third stage was a ride up Haulback to the top of the Magic Chair. The third stage included the upper and lower Magic Trails.

Chris Kovarik and Claire Buchar took their usual spots at the top of the podiums after the races on Wednesday. Kovarik dropped through the course in 2:09.07 while Buchar set the bar high for the women with a time of 2:41.41.

Reached on a chairlift above the bike park on Tuesday, Aug. 6, Kovarik said the Wednesday race was a tight one. Two racers were pushing Kovarik in a close finish. The series leader has won five of the seven Phat Wednesday races held so far.

The Whistler resident is registered to race in the Garbanzo Downhill, A Line and the Canadian Open Downhill during the Crankworx Festival.

Kovarik also said he's registered to participate in the Whip Off.

He likes the Phat Wednesday races because they help him prepare for Crankworx and World Cup races.

"Even though they're local races we're still racing against the clock and trying to push ourselves and try and beat the next guy," said Kovarik.

According to Kovarik, Buchar is also planning to compete in a few Crankworx events.

A new face appeared on the Phat Wednesday podium. Adam Dagg finished first in the Master Male category, picking up his first podium finish in the series.

Bowen Irvine was the first Junior Male with his time of 2:38.13.

Phat Wednesday races are on hold now until after Crankworx.

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