Cyclists hit the trails for NorthwesTel loppet

Not everyone was waxing their skis before the start of the 30th annual NorthwesTel Yukon Loppet at the Whitehorse Nordic Centre on Saturday. Some were checking tire pressures.

Not everyone was waxing their skis before the start of the 30th annual NorthwesTel Yukon Loppet at the Whitehorse Nordic Centre on Saturday. Some were checking tire pressures.

For the first time a snowbike race was held in conjunction with the ski loppet.

Yukon’s Contagious Mountain Bike Club “helped out, but it was the ski club and the NorthwesTel Loppet committee that started it,” said Contagious president Sierra van der Meer.

“Mount McIntyre just opened up some of the single-track trails to mountain biking, so we’re allowed to snowbike on some of the trails in the winter. We’ve just been developing a partnership in the last couple of months to allow snowbiking in the area.”

RELATED:See full results here.

Nine cyclists raced in the loppet on modified mountain bikes with big tires like giant donuts.

Preston Blackie had the fastest time on the roughly nine-kilometre course, finishing in 40 minutes and 48 seconds.

“It was a good event. It was really fun – excellent course,” said Blackie. “It was a good time for sure.

“Snow definitely adds a new element to mountain bike racing. It definitely makes it a little trickier.”

[image2]

Snowbiking is less forgiving than regular mountain biking. It’s a bit of a tightrope ride. The trail is packed down, but if a rider goes off it, he or she can sink into deep snow.

“And it’s a dead stop and you come off the bike and you need to get back on again,” said Blackie. “It wastes a lot of time and energy. If we were on dirt, if you go off the trail a little bit, you just keep going.

“It’s like riding a skinny or

a log.”

It was Blackie’s first time racing on a “fat bike.” His strategy: “Stay ahead of everybody else,” he said. “The trail gets chewed up and then it gets hard to ride when it gets soft. “

Van der Meer was the fastest female rider, finishing the course in 54:52.

About 140 cross-country skiers competed in the loppet.

Chris Schmidt and Pippa Lawson had the fastest times for male and female in the 45-kilometre event.

Trevor Bray and Brittany Pearson-Smith were fastest in the 30-kilometre race. Stephen Clayton and Holly Bull placed first in the 15-kilometre races.

Liam Mather and Regan Fuerstner topped the 7.5-kilometre peewee divisions.

Atom boys racer Mettias Schmidt and peewee girls Dahlia LaPointe produced the fastest times in the three-kilometre races.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon Fish and Game Association opposed to moose management proposals

Executive director Eric Schroff said he thinks Yukon government needs to be more transparent

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Casino taking more time with mine proposal

Statement not expected to be submitted to YESAB until Dec. 31, 2021

New act allows Yukon College to become Yukon University

The official launch of Yukon University will happen May 8 with a convocation ceremony

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

Most Read