Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for May 28, 2013

Gonda boogies to Boogaloo bike race win

In an event that marked the start of the Yukon mountain bike season, David Gonda raced to victory at the Boogaloos Saturday afternoon.

In an event that marked the start of the Yukon mountain bike season, David Gonda raced to victory at the Boogaloos Saturday afternoon.

The 25-year-old Gonda topped the field of 64 in the long course 21-kilometre race, which took riders through some of the most scenic trails on Grey Mountain.

“The course was a lot of fun,” he told the Star. “It was mostly single track, so it was definitely hard on some sections, but I’m just happy to ride.”

Known as the Boogaloo to Boréale mountain bike race, this year’s event was held on the Boogaloo trail network Saturday afternoon, with race headquarters set up in the Magnusson parking lot.

Gonda said he pulled away on the first uphill, and settled into a solid pace the rest of the way to finish in 1:04:45.

“You definitely make time on the climbs, but you have to be fast on the single track as well,” he explained.

Gonda is a long-time racer, and spent last year racing fulltime in Penticton, B.C. He now studies mechanical engineering at Okanagan College.

Young bikers kicked off the day’s events with a bike rodeo and Run Bike World Cup Championships on a short course into the woods and back. All competitors were rewarded with ice cream for their efforts.

A barbecue and beer garden were also set up for the event.

“It was a great day,” said organizer Marsha Cameron of Boréale Mountain Biking. “We had a great turnout. The entire thing is about building the mountain bike community here in Whitehorse and having fun.”

Micah Taggart-Cox won the seven-km short course race with a time of 31:27.

The 11-year-old Marsh Lake resident said the course was an interesting one. Typically a road cyclist, he noted tree roots make for a bumpier, harder ride.

“I wasn’t really sure I would win,” he said with a smile.

The Taggart-Cox family – known for their speedskating talent – cycles through the summer months as a means of cross-training for the winter sport. The family will compete in the Kluane Chilkat bike relay next month.

The Boogaloo event is meant to be non-competitive, but a new timing system allowed competitors to track their speed around the trail courses.

The Boogaloo trails are among the favourites for local mountain biking enthusiasts.

“It’s our signature trail here,” said Cameron. “We like it a lot.”

The local single-track trail system received worldwide attention in March, when Whitehorse and Carcross were named top mountain biking destinations by Outside magazine – a major American publication.

Cameron said she anticipates further growth in mountain bike tourism in the next two to three years.

For now, the mountain bike community remains strong as the City of Whitehorse works to continue developing and marking trails.

“It’s a strong community that’s growing rapidly,” Cameron said. “Ten years ago, you knew all the mountain bikers. Now, not at all.”

The work of the city has been significant, she added.

“Map kiosks with marked trails have made accessibility to trails much better. Now people aren’t as scared to go out without knowing where they are. That’s been huge. It’s really exciting here. Whitehorse is the place to watch for biking in the future. That’s for sure.”

Top results

Long course: 1. David Gonda (1:04:45); 2. Spencer Skerget (1:07:53); 3. Josh DeCloet (1:08:15); 4. Ian Parker (1:11:03); 5. (Tie) Guy Gorrell (1:13:45) and Derek Crowe (1:13:45).

Short course: 1. Micah Taggart-Cox (31:27); 2. (Tie) Ava Milner (33:09) and Kelly Milner (33:09); 4. Caius Taggart-Cox (36:25); 5. Lucas Taggart-Cox (51:46).

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