PhaSt Wednesday racers take on Whistler DH and Joyride 

Rain adds to difficulty of technical course

The first of three PhaSt Wednesday downhill races took place on June 29, with riders taking on the Whistler Downhill course and the bottom section of Joyride - a short but extremely technical ride, especially with the recent rain.

The PhaSt Wednesday races are similar to the Phat Wednesday series, but are set on harder black and double black trails in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Still, close to 130 riders took part.

Adam Billinghurst was the fastest rider overall in two minutes, 32.34 seconds, just under half a second ahead of Bernardo Nevs Cruz (2:32.75). Third overall was Scott Gofton in 2:35.622, followed by Kenny Smith in 2:36.30. Paul Stevens and Tristan Merrick were separated by just one one-thousandth of a second for fifth place, with Stevens finishing in 2:36.634 and Merrick in 2:36.635.

(Races are actually measured in thousands of a second, but are usually decided by tenths. This race was the exception with several races decided by .001 to .009 seconds.)

Rounding out the top 10 were Berend Boer in 2:37.55, Guy Gibbs in 2:37.73, Stephen Matthews in 2:38.16 and James McSkimming just seven one-thousandths back in 2:38.167.

In Master Male, Chris Dewer was the top rider in 2:38.967, followed by Bart Brown in 2:38.975 - eight one-thousandths back. Kris Atkinson was third in 2:40.78, followed by Mathieu Hebert in 2:42.93, Andrew Gunn in 2:44.14, Richard Bedford in 2:44.40, Dave Harder in 2:44.46, Steve Storey in 2:44.63, Jon Moon in 2:44.71 and Corrie Mullin in 2:47.13.

Sarah Leishman was the top female rider by over 13 seconds in 2:54.69, followed by Emily Slaco in 3:08.33 and Katrina Strand in 3:09.63. Also in the top 10 were Rachelle Frazer in 3:12.76, Veronika Voracek in 3:12.84, Maria Darquier in 3:14.16, Carrie Meltzor in 3:18.36, Tara Katamay-Smith in 3:20.58, Fanny Paquette in 3:25.80 and Kate Whitley in 3:28.78.

Zander Geddes was first out of three Junior Male racers in 2:48.01, followed by Cooper Saver in 3:08.36 and Brad Jansen in 3:24.47.

Ava Buchan was the only Junior Female in 4:15.02.

All of the racers taking part were eligible to win draw prizes from event sponsors. Chris Ricci won the Sram drive train, James Allen the Truvativ cranks, Christian Staller the Kali helmet, Mathieu Hebert the Truvativ pedals and Sachi Kobayashi the Truvativ handlebars. Other prizes were given out from AlpineStar, Odi, Garbanzo Bike and Bean, the GLC and Kokanee.

There was a Phat Wednesday ride on July 6, but events will take a break for the Crankworx festival. The next Phat Wednesday races after that are Aug. 3, Aug. 17 and Aug. 31. The next two PhaSt Wednesday racers are on Aug. 10 and Aug. 24.

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