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Cyclists vie in five stage races during road championships

The 2021 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships tested the riders endurance with five stage races
Alex Lebarge races in the 2021 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships’ time trial at Titanium Way on June 12, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

The 2021 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships tested the U Kon Echelon cyclists’ endurance from June 11-13.

The championships, which U Kon Echelon coach Trena Irving described as a “great success” featured five races starting with a hill climb.

Racers followed a route that was introduced during the 2020 riding season. The hill climb began on Pine Street in Porter Creek and followed the bike path to Takhini. Cyclists then returned up the big, steep hill by the snow dump.

Times, Irving said, were improved “all the way around” from last year’s inaugural race.

Adam Tetzlaff set a new course record of 11:16. This was 24 seconds faster than the previous record held by Denny Bohmer.

Ava Irving-Staley and James McCann were the quickest teen male and female cyclists. The pair both recorded times of 11:58.

Irving-Staley shaved nearly two minutes off her 2020 time.

Titanium Way played host to a criterium and the second stage race of the Road Cycling Championships. A criterium race, said Irving, is where the riders go around a set short-course for fast laps. The race is won in the last few laps.

The criterium’s youngest rider was Elijah Jenner who rode about 25 minutes and came first in the U11 category.

Older riders did 45 minutes plus five laps. The A Group was taken by Tetzlaff. He was followed by David Jackson and third went to Irving-Staley.

B Group was won by Doon McDowell and second went to Tori Vollmer. Mackenzie Jenner won the C Group with Taiga Buurman and Johna Irving-Staley coming second and third respectively.

A circuit race was the third instalment of the championships. Every rider did 33 laps of a course from Porter Creek to Whistle Bend — except Irving who did 31.

The cyclists rode in one group with assistant coach Alex Amiri, who’s been helping prepare the riders for the 2022 Canada Summer Games, keeping everyone in a peloton.

Jackson was the only rider in the adult category. Ava Irving-Staley took the teen category followed by Vollmer and McCann.

Alex Labarge took the youth division with Johna Irving-Staley and Buurman finishing in the other top spots.

The fourth stage of the championships pitted the racers against themselves during a time trial at Titanium Way.

Aero-bars, aero-helmets, aero-bikes and skin-suits all helped the riders shave valuable minutes off their final times. For this race, the adults and teens did not race against each other.

Amiri was the fastest adult rider, posting a speedy time of 29:06. Jackson was the second-place finisher in the expert men’s division in 31:25. Tetzlaff, 32:05, was third.

McCann had the fastest teen male time of 32:21. Jenner and McDowell weren’t far behind. Jenner finished 15 seconds off the winning pace and McDowell was two seconds behind Jenner.

Ava Irving-Staley had the faster female time of 34:30. Vollmer finished in 36:05.

Johna Irving-Staley was the quickest U15 male posting a time of 35:34. Lebarge and Buurman took the other podium spots.

After four intense races, the cyclists still found the energy to ride the road race from Army Beach to Jakes Corner and back. The race was about 73 kilometres.

Irving said, “this race was exciting, especially the teen peloton as riders attacked and bridged the gap over each other”.

After plenty of chasing and passing, Johna Irving-Staley won the final sprint to the finish to win the U15 boys category. Lebarge and Buurman finished second and third.

Jenner had the fastest overall teen time of 2:09:35. McDowell came second in the B Group.

It came down to a sprint in the female category and Ava Irving-Staley edged Vollmer to win.

In the A group, Tetzlaff and Jackson were joined by McCann. Tetzlaff took the road race finishing six seconds ahead of Jackson.

Contact John Tonin at