Another strong race for Yukon’s Tait at Games

Yukon cyclists Melanie Tait and Shea Hoffman are doing the territory proud at the Canada Summer Games. It could as easily be said they are doing the North proud.


Yukon cyclists Melanie Tait and Shea Hoffman are doing the territory proud at the Canada Summer Games. It could as easily be said they are doing the North proud.

Tait and Hoffman are the only cyclists from Canada’s territories competing in Sherbrooke this week, most recently in a road race on Wednesday.

Tait was edged out a second top-20 result, but still raced to 22nd out of 32 riders.

“It was not results for me in this one, it was just that I finished the race,” said Tait. “But it also showed that Yukon was still in there, we weren’t dropped right off and lapped right away, which happens sometimes.

“Every time going around, maybe because I’m the only one from the Yukon, everyone was cheering for me. Out of the little pack I was in, people would say, ‘Oh, Yukon – go Yukon!’ … That was cool, for sure.”

The 21-year-old completed seven laps of the 11.7-kilometre loop in two hours, 38 minutes and 45 seconds. She finished less than half a wheel-length behind Manitoba’s Anna Schappert, whom Tait rode with for most of the race that featured some tough climbs.

“It was a very hard race. I’m extremely proud of myself for finishing the race,” said Tait. “There are some challenging hills on the course.

“It took me two laps to get into the zone. I was with a Saskatchewan rider – we had gotten dropped by the pack – and we worked together and caught up to a B.C. rider, a Manitoba (rider) and an Ontario (rider) … We raced the course together and took turns pulling at our strong points. So through the flats and certain peaks on hills, whoever’s strongest takes the lead.”

Hoffman didn’t get to finish the race. He was withdrawn after getting lapped by the frontrunners during the 11 laps of the men’s race. He was one of 21 cyclists to not finish the race in the field of 44.

Tait placed 18th out of 33 cyclists in the time trial to start the Games on Monday.

She completed the 16-kilometre course in 24:43.10, just one minute from cracking the top 10.

Hoffman placed 42nd out of 43 riders in the time trial. He finished the 20-kilometre men’s course in 32:19.77. The 18-year-old is one of the youngest cyclists competing at the 23-and-under competition this week and will be eligible to compete at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg.

Yukon’s top road cyclists have helped out the small two-person team.

Both Tait and Hoffman are racing with a helmet donated by two-time Olympian and current Canadian road race champion Zach Bell of Watson Lake.

Right there with the team is Jesse Reams, also from Watson Lake, who is mission staff for the team. Reams, who cycled for the Yukon at the 2009 Canada Games, currently races for Vancouver-based road cycling team Trek Red Truck Racing Team and won a pair of races in the U.S. early in the season.

“They contacted me at the beginning of June and asked me if I’d like to come out,” said Reams. “If I can, I always like to come out with young riders. I wasn’t sure who the team would be or what it would look like, but my schedule was open, so I said I’d do it.”

“It’s good to have him here because it’s nice to check on things that (manager) Phil (Hoffman) and I don’t know because we haven’t raced at that level,” said Yukon head coach Trena Irving. “It’s great having him on board.”

Tait only started cycling competitively last summer and had an early success, winning the sport women category in the Tour of Juneau.

She spent the summer training with Alberta’s Bicisport Calgary Cycling Club out of Calgary and has raced in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan this season.

She won a road race in the Devon Grand Prix in Devon, Alta., in June for her first win of the season and then tied for first in the open women’s division of the 173-kilometre Southern Lakes Bike Loppet in the Yukon last month.

Sherbrooke represents Hoffman’s sixth major Games. He has competed at three Arctic Winter Games and one Canada Winter Games in speed skating. He also competed at the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games in cycling.

Yukon’s first-ever medal at the Canada Summer Games came in cycling when Sean Sheardown won silver at the 1989 Games in Saskatoon.

Tait and Hoffman will close out the Games with criterium races on Saturday.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read