Rhys Verner Podiums and Connor Fearon Embraces the Spirit of Enduro at Crankworx

It was a mixed day out on course for Kona’s athletes yesterday at the Enduro World Series in Whistler. Things started off amazingly well for Connor Fearon as he smashed it right out of the start gate and rode to a solid second place on the first stage beating all of Enduro’s big names as well as many of his fellow DH competitors. As the day went on, and the temperature went up, Connor kept things consistent and finally found himself in 29th position at the end of a long hot and technically challenging day. No bad considering he raced the final stage of the day totally blind “Stage five was the hardest stage by far. 12kms long and over 22 minutes for me, it was a little hard because I didn’t practice it so was riding the track blind.”Crank-EWS-2017-0400

Kona Endurance Team rider Rhys Verner was aiming on besting last years results and with a fourth, a third, a third, a fifth and another third in the U21 category it was more than assured. In fact Rhys rolled across the finish line in third place overall just 1:02.21 back from first place. Not a bad day at all for the Squamish, BC local.Crank-EWS-2017-0578

Things however, did not go Kona Grassroots rider James Rennie’s way. His pedal stripped the thread on his crank arm during stage one and would require him to stop mid stage to re-insert it. On stage two, things took another bad turn as he flatted and exploded his rear wheel making it unrideable. His wife was spectating on the stage, so he walked out half the stage and then stole her rear wheel and took a five minute penalty for outside assistance, but he was determined to finish the race. Still struggling with the pedal he managed to complete the day off and even placed 39th on stage four although his overall time put him second to last it was better than the those three dreaded letters, DNF.

Crank-EWS-2017-0510

The Whistler EWS was really fun. I entered it knowing it would be good for training and not take it to seriously. The tracks are a lot different to typical downhill courses and I liked the change, especially racing such gnarly tracks on my trail bike. My favourite stage was the first one with all the turns and jumps and I gave it a proper crack. – Connor Fearon

Crank-EWS-2017-0294-3

Rhys nearing the bottom of stage one.

Crank-EWS-2017-0360

James Rennie railing stage one, trying to make up time.

Crank-EWS-2017-0552  Crank-EWS-2017-0588