In her first season of racing bikes, Veronica Porter is off to a strong start.
She has won both of the first races of the season, capturing her second victory Thursday night at the U Kon Echelon time trial.
Porter, 13, won the female U15 division, a 17K race along the Alaska Highway near the Carcross Cutoff, in 35:22.
“It was alright, a bit rainy,” she said at the finish. “It went a lot faster than I thought it would.”
It was Porter’s first time trial race. Last week, she won her first criterium (she was the first female, while Lucas Taggart-Cox had the fastest overall time).
Conditions were not ideal for the time trial, with a headwind blowing on the riders’ way to the turnaround point.
“The downhills felt like uphills at some points,” said Porter, who is also a member of the Yukon biathlon team. “But it wasn’t too bad.”
A massive dark, looming cloud also opened up part-way through the race, drenching the riders.
But all of the 15 racers who started, also finished.
Oscar Setterington, who won the boys’ U15 division, was at his first race of the season.
“I kind of just gave it all I had and went hard on the hills because I’m better on the hills,” he said. “Spun out on the flats and tried to conserve my energy on the downhills.”
In time trials, racers are started individually, at an interval and race against the clock.
“I like it a lot because you’re not competing other people, you’re competing against yourself,” said Setterington, who finished in 34:18. “You’re trying to beat yourself and improve on how fast you can go.”
The fastest rider on the course, David Jackson, did just that, beating his personal best on the course by about three minutes.
“It went really well I thought,” he said after the race, covered up in a Habs rain jacket. “My race plan was to reach the goal of being close to or under 27 minutes and I managed to do that.”
Jackson finished in 27:07.
He utilized gear from his sponsorship with Whitehorse’s Cadence Cycle, using sleek, streamlined equipment and tucking into the aero bars – grips sticking up from the middle of the handlebars – to battle the headwind.
His favourite event is the time trial because he seems to excel at it and even the rain cloud couldn’t dampen his spirit.
“A little ominous, but I thought, if it rains on me, oh well, I’m used to it,” he said.
And when it did finally rain on him about 5K from the finish, he thought, “I better go faster.”
The race schedule now moves north for the weekend with the Tour de Haines Junction. The tour is a three-stage race, with the hill sprint and time trial taking place Saturday and the road race taking place Sunday.
More information is available by emailing organizer Trena Irving at email@example.com.
Time trial results
Adults: 1- David Jackson (27:07), 2- Trena Irving (33:18), 3- Stefan Gladwin (43:12). Youth U15 female: 1- Veronica Porter (35:22), 2- Ava Irvin-Staley (36:02), 3- Mollie Fraser (37:12), 4- Isla Hupe (43:28), 5- Greta Gladwin (53:51).
Youth U15 male: 1- Oscar Setterington (34:18), 2- Clayton Chapman (38:16), 3- Orin Gladwin (43:09). Youth U17 male: 1- Thomas Bakica (36:48). Youth U13 female: 1- Asha Neumann Dar (40:07), 2- Anna Potvin (40:09). Youth U13
male: 1- Johna Irving -Staley (53:43).