Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

JOCKEYING FOR POSITION – The young motocross riders look to get solid position during the Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association Junior C heat on Saturday.

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Photo by John Tonin

PUSHING THROUGH – Madison Heighington, 40, and Jason Wyatt, 66, make their way through the sandy area of the Junior C course.

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Photo by John Tonin

CONQUERING THE OBSTACLES – Clayton Thomas navigates his way through the pile of rocks during the Intermediate A race.

Engines roar at Mosquito Enduro-X

The Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association (YCCMA) held its first event of the season on Saturday,

By John Tonin on June 11, 2019

The Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association (YCCMA) held its first event of the season on Saturday, the Mosquito Enduro-X, at the Schirmer Family Ranch off of Mosquito Road.

It was a nice sunny day with warm temperatures for the racers. The revs and roars of the bikes’ engines echoed loudly over the course and the dirt and smoke billowed through the air as the riders took their starting positions, then got going.

It was another record turnout for the YCCMA, with 75 riders registered across the classes, and it is the youth who are growing the sport here in the Yukon.

"It was probably the most kids we've had," said Mike Beaman. "It is certainly growing, and we want to get the kids out and give them a sport. It keeps them active, and the young kids are doing amazing things with a motorcycle."

The race format was 2-15 minute heats through three different tracks.

The C Track is the course the young riders followed. It was single track and open trails. The B Track featured optional intermediate obstacles and single track and open trail. The A Track had intermediate and expert obstacles for the riders to navigate, such as logs, tires, and rocks.

The obstacles proved challenging for the riders as many riders fell while trying to ride over the rocks and the logs.

Enduro racing is a very physically demanding sport which relies on technical skill with the motorcycle. The tracks are designed to level the field by challenging the riders with obstacles of varying difficulty depending on class so that the rider with the most skill wins, not the fastest bike.

"Off-road cycling is great exercise," said Beaman. "Some people think it's not physically demanding because it is a motor-sport, but I challenge them to come out and ride with us."

The 2-15 minute heats meant the riders rode continuously in the time frame. When the time was up, the rider with the most laps completed was the winner.

The Junior C was won by young rider Royce Thomas. Max Labelle and Drake Grant were second and third respectively.

Memphis Nolan was the top Intermediate C rider and was followed by Quintin Loots and Joel Lafreniere. Sophie Hadley was the Intermediate C Girls top competitor. Quinn Brown and Leah Muir nabbed the other top spots.

The Sportsman B champ was Murray Arsenault, with Clayton Hadley and Ben Moffat grabbing the other podium spots.

Ryder Brulotte came out on top of the Intermediate B class. Cameron Geier and Colby Hadley were second and third.

Intermediate A was won by Cole Beaman, who outpaced the competition. Shane Orban and Mike Beaman were the other top riders.

Sam Schirmer was the Expert A winner. He beat out Tony Watson and Julien Revel for the top honour.

The day also featured a Trials Challenge with trial bikes. A trial bike is a very light bike and it does not have a seat and weigh about 150 pounds.

Beaman said motorcycle trials is something that is growing.

"There are not a lot of people here with trial bikes," said Beaman. "It is very big in the U.K. and Japan and is slowly making its way up here. There is about 10 bikes in town and we wanted to display what the bikes are capable of."

The winner of the Trials Challenge was Revel. Hans Gatt was second and Dewan Houde was third.

The YCCMA's next race will be a hare scramble held August 11.

"A hare scramble is a longer distance through the woods," said Beaman. "It will have varying obstacles depending on class to challenge the riders. The whole idea when designing tracks is that skill wins and it's not who has the fastest bike."

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