Veronica Porter races up a long hill during the U Kon Echelon Bike Club 2020 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships in Whitehorse on July 25. That day was the only day of the competition with two races — a hill climb near Miles Canyon that morning and a hill climb in Porter Creek that afternoon. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

2020 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships bring plenty of competitive spirit

The U15 boys GC came down to a sprint to the finish of the final stage

U Kon Echelon Bike Club held the 2020 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships in and around Whitehorse from July 23 to 26.

A total of 15 riders participated in five stages, with 12 completing all stages and earning a general classification ranking.

Things kicked off with a 17-kilometre time trial on July 23 beginning at the Carcross cutoff before stage two, a lap race around a circuit in Marwell, on July 24.

July 25 was the only day of the competition with two races — a hill climb near Miles Canyon that morning and a hill climb in Porter Creek that afternoon.

The final race of the championship was a road race beginning and ending at Army Beach on July 26.

While many of the categories only had one or two riders, there was no shortage of excitement.

“Yeah, you can move people together and everything else, but to me if only one person shows up, one person shows up. For me, … I don’t want to compete against people who are younger, faster, whatever, so I kind of like having my own category,” Trena Irving, coach and organizer said about the race categories. “I think for U13 it’s the same thing — you don’t necessarily want to compete against people who are 17 just because there aren’t people in your category.”

In the U11 boys category, Thomas Vollmer finished first in a total time of two hours, 39 minutes and 12 seconds.

At the U13 boys level, Alex LeBarge won with a total time of three hours, 14 minutes and 37 seconds. Johna Irving-Staley was just over two minutes back heading into the final race, but did not race on the final day.

“Alex ended up taking the U13 title, but even so, on Saturday he was ahead of Johna,” Irving said. “Who knows how that would have played out if Johna had raced? But it’s good because it’s friendly competition with somebody close to your age.”

Tori Vollmer won the U15 girls GC with total time of three hours, 35 minutes and 35 seconds.

The U15 boys GC was the closest of the entire weekend, with Taiga Buurman edging out Mack Jenner by just eight seconds overall.

Irving explained that heading into the final road race, the gap between Buurman and Jenner was just nine seconds when the three hit the road for the 73-km race.

“Taiga just happened to be ahead by nine seconds, which is nothing when you look at it,” Irving said. A breakway, losing the draft or any number of things could easily lead to a 10 minute gap in a multi-stage race.

The trio rode together for most of the race, with Irving using the opportunity to share knowledge about tactics, nutrition and hydration.

She said as the group neared the finish, she asked when the riders wanted to go.

“‘Well we’re all together right now,’ I said, ‘but there is going to be a sprint at the end. When do you want to go?’” Irving said.

Irving checked in at five, three, and two km out from the finish line and the answer was still not yet.

“We rounded the corner and we saw the sign and there was about 500 metres to go,” Irving said, explaining she’d warned them she’d give them a cue when the sprinting had to start. “So I yelled ‘go’ and I was out front and took off sprinting.”

The video of the finish, Irving said, told the tale of the race.

“Mack was right on my tire and Taiga was right on his tire,” Irving said. “Taiga came in and won the (GC) by eight seconds. … (If) Mack had attacked early on, then maybe he could have made up that time, but it was his first race and I’m fine with it. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t come first in the race, but it is (about) the tactics and the excitement of it.”

Buurman finished with an overall time of three hours, 35 minutes and seven seconds, while Jenner had a time of three hours, 35 minutes and 15 seconds.

Ava Irving-Staley won the U17 girls GC with a cumulative time of three hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds.

The winner of the U17 boys GC was Noah Marnik with a total time of three hours and nine seconds. In second spot was Bruce Porter with a time of three hours, 32 minutes and 22 seconds.

In the last of the youth categories, Veronica Porter won the U19 girls GC with a time of three hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds.

For her part, Irving won the masters women GC with a time of three hours, 34 minutes and 58 seconds.

In the expert men GC, David Jackson set the standard with a total time of two hours, 58 minutes and eight seconds.

Both Denny Bohmer and Geof Harries also raced in the expert men category, though neither completed all stages.

In the masters men GC, Mike Setterington finished in three hours and 33 minutes and 56 seconds.

With so much of the summer’s sporting calendar delayed or cancelled because of COVID-19, Irving said the recent races have been a much appreciated temporary escape.

“I love racing and I’m glad that we’re here,” Irving said. “I’m glad that we’re not as restricted as in other jurisdictions, so to me it was a privilege and a pleasure to be able to put it on, but also to be able to race in it and go fast … and just kind of, when you’re in the race, turn your mind off the stupid COVID because it affects every facet of life right now and it’s overwhelming. It’s nice to not think about it when you’re going hard on your bike.”

Perhaps more remarkable than even the battle for the U15 boys GC crown was the fact that all the races happened without any rain.

“We’ve been lucky and all five races we were lucky. We didn’t get rained on,” Irving said. “We didn’t have mud, rain or any of that. I can say (only) positives about the weather, honestly.”

The club is back in action this weekend for the Tour de Haines Junction on Aug. 1 and 2 in Haines Junction. The three-stage event includes a time trial and hill climb on day one and a road race on day two.

Information on the upcoming races, including how to register, is available online through the U Kon Echelon Bike Club Facebook group.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Josi Leideritz, the executive director for the Yukon Quest International Association (Canada), poses for a photo in Whitehorse on Oct.1, 2020. The Quest announced plans for its 2022 race to start in Fairbanks on Feb. 5. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2022 Quest planning gets underway

Race would begin Feb. 5 in Fairbanks

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read