No fear from Phat Wednesday crowd 

Despite a far tougher course the number of riders taking part in the third Phat Wednesday downhill series race on July 17 was far higher than expected, with almost 170 riders turning out to ride Schleyer, Lower Whistler Downhill and the lower section of the National Downhill course.

The guest appearance of two World Cup racers, Whistler’s Claire Buchar and Australian Chris Kovarik, ratcheted up the level of competition. Buchar won the women’s race by more than 16 seconds, while Kovarik won the men’s event by more than 11 seconds.

Buchar completed the course in two minutes, 38 seconds, followed by Danice Uyesugi in 2:54, and Jen Ashton in 2:58.

Kovarik’s time was a blistering 2:19, followed by Kenny Smith in 2:31 and Kevin Bartkowski in 2:32. Also worth noting was the time posted by Alex Prochazka — he finished seventh out of 119 riders in the men’s race, despite being a junior.

In the junior race it was Xavier Raventos in first place in 2:41, followed by Jonathan Engleman in 2:55 and Thomas Zonneveld in 2:56.

While the World Cup racers took the cash purse, all of the other riders had a chance to win draw prizes from Kokanee, Camelback, WTB, Hayes, Garbanzo Bike and Bean and Sram, which supplied a complete X9 drive train.

The next Phat Wednesday is scheduled for July 30, on a course to be named next week.

To take part, registration gets underway at the base of Whistler Mountain just after 5 p.m. and the racing starts between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., depending on numbers.

To take part riders are required to have a Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association membership, a valid pass for the bike park, and pay a $2 entry fee, which goes into the pot for the winners.

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