Kona Endurance Athlete Rhys Verner takes second at Whistler Provincial Championships

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This past weekend in Whistler marked my final race of seven consecutive races in a row. Surprisingly enough I was actually feeling pretty good about it, it had been a busy few months but I was getting to test myself and learn week in and week out. This race was the BC provincial XC championships and it was going to be my first time competing in the event in pro men. I was a little nervous but somehow I landed the #1 plate reassuring me that I had just a good of shot as anyone else to win this race.

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Second place in his first Pro mens race! Rhys Verner is machine, and on top of that his shoe game is strong! Photo: Clint Trahan

The race started with a steep start loop climb followed by a couple minute descent, I went off the line fast and made a point about being first to the single track. After that I played to my strengths and opened up a bit of a gap on the downhill. I rode the next climb at a fast pace but one that I felt I could maintain until last years winner Craig Richey caught up to me. We rode this climb together distancing ourselves from the rest of the field until the next downhill. I again got into the single track first and adopted the same strategy. This time though when Craig caught up to me he kept his pace the same and got a bit of a gap on me going into the next single track downhill. I caught him on the downhill but my advantage was gone as I could now only follow him and wasn’t able to make any time on him. We finished the first lap together and started the second together. He was strong on the climbs and I held on as long as I could but we were only half way through our second lap and there was still lots of racing left to do, so I settled in to a more manageable pace for me. Craig went on to take the win and I rode the rest of the race solo to bring in 2nd.

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I’m happy about the race and think I did the best I could have on that day, I know I was a bit tired from all the previous racing so I have to factor that in and remember that the big race is nationals and its only in a few weeks time.

WHistler Canada cup

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