Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for June 18, 2013

Cyclists get taste of high-level competition at provincial meet

Four young Yukon cyclists competed in the 2013 B.C. Provincial Youth Road Cycling Championships in Courtney, B.C. last weekend, gaining valuable race experience against competitors within their own age groups.

By Whitehorse Star on June 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

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Photo submitted

GAME FACE – Yukon cyclists competed in a provincial meet in Courtney B.C. recently. From left are Mathew Knaack, David Jackson, Cayla Jackson and coach Trena Irving. Photo courtesy of SARAH JACKSON

Four young Yukon cyclists competed in the 2013 B.C. Provincial Youth Road Cycling Championships in Courtney, B.C. last weekend, gaining valuable race experience against competitors within their own age groups.

Shea Hoffman, David Jackson, Cayla Jackson and Mathew Knaack all made the trip with U Kon Echelon cycling coach Trena Irving.

The group was able to achieve small victories in the two events – a 10-km hill climb and a road race.

Hoffman competed in the U-19 category, and set a personal record in the hill climb with a time of 38:15. The climb was marked by foggy conditions, and riders were often unable to see the elevation in front of them while cycling.

Irving said the ride was similar to the Skagway Hill Climb in terms of difficulty.

The 17-year-old also completed a 70-km road race in 2:07:58. Hoffman will represent the Yukon at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que. this August, alongside fellow Yukoner Melanie Tait.

The race was a foretaste of the competition he will face at the Games, where he will square off against others in the U-23 category.

Sixteen-year-old David Jackson and 14-year-old Knaack cycled in the U-17 category.

Knaack did “very well” in the hill climb, finishing with a personal best time of 40:37 and ahead of two B.C. riders, while Jackson finished last, but still smiling at 49:04.

Jackson was able to hold off the final U-17 female competitor, outsprinting her to the finish.

Knaack and Jackson finished 17th and 18th in their 53-km road race, respectively.

Just 14 and competing against 16-year-olds, Irving said Knaack is “doing well in terms of progression.”

In criterium competition, all three Yukon boys were pulled after a few one-km laps as they were off the pack and were eventually lapped.

“It’s a reality of living in the Yukon and not having weekly crits (criteriums),” Irving explained.

Cayla Jackson, age 15, competed in the para-cyclist category, riding a tandem bike with coach Irving. The two completed 5.4-km in the hill climb in 35:10, and took first in all para-categories.

Cayla went on to complete her longest road race yet, finishing the 37-km route in 1:26:52. This past weekend, she participated in the Kluane Chilkat bike relay.

“All athletes got experience at this race, which is critical at their ages because it is very hard to get experience racing in a competitive environment with other juniors here in the Yukon,” Irving told the Star.

“Athletes learned a great deal about cornering, which gear to start in during a hill climb or crit, and the power of positive thinking during a difficult race.

“We went to the B.C. junior provincials because we want to have the kids compete with other youth,” she added. “B.C. has a big push going right now to get youth events happening and we will take every opportunity to go and learn and race there.”

Irving said she is still looking for new members to join her cycling club.

Cyclists between ages eight and 20 are welcome to contact her at 393-4700 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The club is currently hosting mountain bike riding for youth ages eight to 10, and road/mountain biking for those ages 11 to 20.

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