Gusty start to condensed VeloNorth season

Mother Nature welcomed VeloNorth cyclists back on the road with tough headwinds for the cycling club's season opener on Wednesday. But when an iron man race is on the agenda for the summer, what's a little wind?

Mother Nature welcomed VeloNorth cyclists back on the road with tough headwinds for the cycling club’s season opener on Wednesday.

But when an iron man race is on the agenda for the summer, what’s a little wind?

Whitehorse cyclists Jud Deuling and Kerrie Paterson, both of whom are training for an iron man and a half iron man respectively, began the season winning the expert classes of VeloNorth’s Carcross Cutoff Time trial.

Paterson, who won the race last year, finishing the 18.5-kilometre out-and-back race from the Carcross Cutoff south in the Alaska Highway in 29 minutes and two seconds, beat her time from last year by 1:05.

“I didn’t know what to expect. My legs are really sore from training,” said Paterson. “It hurt, like it usually does.”

Even though there were just 21 competitive cyclists out for the time trial, both expert classes contained strong riders.

Paterson narrowly outpaced Nadele Flynn in second, Tamara Goeppel in third and Trena Irving in fourth. Last summer Paterson and Flynn teamed up to win the two-person women’s category of the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay while Goeppel set a new Skagway Hill Climb record and Irving came second overall in both the Tour of Whitehorse and Tour de Juneau. Paterson has also twice won the Kluane Chilkat’s solo women’s category.

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For first in the expert men, Deuling, who came in with a time of 27:07, had to beat Ian Parker, last year’s men’s winner of the Whitehorse Triathlon, and third-place finisher John Berryman, who was fourth in the triathlon behind Deuling.

While Wednesday’s time trial had no noticeable changes, the VeloNorth season has a few in store.

With just a couple time trials scheduled for early June, the month is light on VeloNorth events as cyclists turn their attention to the 24-Hours of Light mountain bike race, the Whitehorse Triathlon and the Kluane Chilkat. As a result, the VeloNorth season is easily split into two halves. First there is a very busy May with four road races and a time trial, then there is the competitive month of July, which includes a second annual Canada Day Criterium, followed immediately by the start of the Tour of Whitehorse stage race.

Other changes include moving the often international – always grueling – Skagway Hill Climb to the May long weekend, hoping to appeal to people’s desire to get out of town.

“A lot of people go to Skagway for the weekend, so we’re just trying to offer an event outside of Whitehorse when people might be heading there,” said VeloNorth president Scott Kerby.

This year’s Tour of Whitehorse is going to present some more scenic views with a new location for the individual time trial, this year starting at Skagway’s Summit Lake and finishing in Fraser, BC.

“We haven’t used that section before,” said Kerby.

VeloNorth is also continuing with their non-competitive Sunday group rides, but with a new starting point at the Airport Chalet with registration at 10 a.m.

In other cycling news, Irving is hoping to lay the ground work for the Yukon’s next generation of elite cyclists. Irving, along with experienced riders Anthony Delorenzo, Bruce Thomson and Daniel Sessford – a Canada Games medalist in the mountain biking – are organizing a bike skills camp for youth under 20 this weekend.

Ideally, the camp, which will focus on road cycling Saturday and mountain biking Sunday, will spawn a team for this August’s Western Canada Summer Games.

“It’s for any youth who is interested in coming out,” said Irving. “Canada Games is on the radar.

“That’s the plan, to get some kids out cycling and build up a Team Yukon again.”

For more information, call Irving at (867) 393-4700.

Carcross Cutoff Time-Trial results

Expert women

1st Kerrie Paterson (0:29:02)

2nd Nadele Flynn (0:29:41)

3rd Tamara Goeppel (0:30:10)

4th Trena Irving (0:30:38)

Expert men

1st Jud Deuling (0:27:07)

2nd Ian Parker (0:27:17)

3rd John Berryman (0:27:34)

4th James Minifie (0:27:52)

5th Anthony Delorenzo (0:28:25)

6th Darryl Hansell (0:29:40)

7th Mac Hislop (0:29:46)

8th Stefan Wackerhagen (0:30:13)

9th Daniel Sessford (0:31:13)

Sport women

1st Keltie Hollingdale (0:34:15)

2nd Shannon Meekins (0:35:36)

Sport men

1st Karl Blattmann (0:27:35)

2nd Elijah Buffalo (0:29:41)

3rd Jonathan Lucas (0:30:37)

4th Patrick Anderson (0:31:15)

5th Phil Hoffman (0:33:15)

6th Shea Hoffman (0:34:00)

VeloNorth season schedule

Time-trials

May 22 – Skagway Hill climb time trial

June 1 – Porter Creek time trial

June 8 – Jack and Jill Carcross Cut-off time trial

Road races

May 4 – Yukon River Bridge race

May 14 – North Klondike race

May 18 – Hamilton Blvd Extension race

May 28 – Jakes Corner to Whitehorse race

Criterium

July 1, 2011 – Canada Day Criterium

Tour of Whitehorse

July 1, 2011 – Prologue hill climb

July 2, 2011 – ITT – Skagway summit (Summit Lake to Fraser)

July 3, 2011 – RR – Carcross to Whitehorse

Group rides

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday May 15, 2011

Sunday May 29, 2011

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com