Whitehorse Daily Star

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SCENIC RIDE – Riders on the weekend’s Tour de Skagway without the Skagway part. Photo by BILL LEBARGE

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Photo by Photo Submitted

INTO THE MIST – Foggy conditions are quite common in the pass area. Michael Buurnam rides through the fog. Photo by BILL LEBARGE

Tour de Skagway 2021: a success

The U Kon Echelon Biking Club held the Tour de Skagway road bike stage race over the long weekend.

By freelancer on May 28, 2021

The U Kon Echelon Biking Club held the Tour de Skagway road bike stage race over the long weekend.

Two races were held last Saturday. The time trial was 20 kilometres, and left from the Canada Customs parking area, back past Log Cabin to return to the start.

The road has been fixed up there, which made for a smoother surface, thanks to Yukon Highways.

David Jackson, in expert men, did the fastest time at 29 minutes, 31 seconds.

In the U17 boys category, James and Doon were only 12 seconds apart, with James first, Doon second, and Mack Jenner third.

In U15 boys, Alex Lebarge raced to first place at 39.51, followed in second place by Taiga Buurman and third Johna Staley.

Ava Irving-Staley did 41.20 in U19 girls, Juliette Crowe did 44.09 in U15 girls, and Tim Hall did 54.59 in sport men, while Trena Irving finished with 45.33.

Simon Crowe, the youngest participant, did a distance of 10 km with an impressive fast start and cadence throughout his ride.

On Saturday afternoon, a new race was introduced to replace the Skagway Hill Climb. As the race was not allowed over the border, all races were on the Canadian side only.

The hill climb was three attempts of the hill leading up to the summit and finishing just before the top.

Distance was just over a kilometre for each attempt, with all three attempts counting for a total time.

The overall fastest time was posted by David Jackson, in expert male, at 10.18.

Not far behind him in U17 males, at 14 years old was James McCann, with a time of 11.44.

The third overall fastest time was Johna Irving-Staley with a time of 12.29, with the fastest female times posted by Ava at 12.38.

Simon Crowe was the youngest rider out, at eight years old, and he did all three hill climbs as well as the time trial, which was super-impressive on this challenging course.

Juliette Crowe and Ava Irving-Staley were the sole females doing the hill course and hammering up the cold, foggy climb for a best time of 5.4 and 4.06.

For the road race, the highlights were having all the riders in small groups able to work together. The group leading out was comprised of David Jackson, Adam Tetzlaff, James McCann and Alex Lebarge.

Alex and James have been hammering their pace in races, and coaches Trena Irving and Ava Staley thought it would be good for them to push it with David and Adam for at least the first lap.

They did ride with the expert men for as long as they could, and then worked together the rest of the race to win U17 (James) and U15 (Alex).

James came in just ahead of Alex in the finish by 17 seconds, but they were in different age categories for the (48 km).

David and Adam worked together for the entire race and it came down to a sprint finish, which David won by one second.

They did 96 km. David took the win for the Tour de Skagway in expert men with all new personal records, so he was very satisfied.

In the next pelotan, the riders were Ava Irving-Staley, Doon McDowell and Mack Jenner in U17, and Taiga Buurman an in U15.

They worked together until the last lap when Doon broke off in a breakaway, followed by Ava.

Ava passed Doon and asked him to jump on her wheel, but she ended up finishing ahead of her group with a time of one hour 39 minutes, 55 seconds, with her teammates coming in a minute or two later.

Mack and Taiga sprinted for the finish, with Mack coming in a fraction of a second ahead of Taiga. Both took second place in their categories. All did the 48 km.

Johna Irving-Staley did 24 km due to feeling a bit under the weather. Trena, his mother, worked with a bit for the first lap, then completed the 48-km solo.

In order to win ones category, riders had to compete in all three races, so eight racers did all three races with 13 competing overall.

Next up, U Kon Echelon has a Participaction Mountain Bike Race Series (Mondays in June, after school and Saturday, June 5), and the Yukon Energy Road Championships, a stage race consisting of a hill sprint, criterium, circuit race, time trial and road race.

The Yukon Energy Champs is open to everybody, and all ages are encouraged to race.

Finally, the Southern Lakes Yukon Granfondo, which is a 173-km race around the Marsh Lake-Tagish-Carcross triangle, will be on June 19.

This article submitted by the U Kon Echelon Biking Club.

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