Haines to Haines bike relay happens Saturday

Saturday will be a downhill battle for some cyclists — literally — as racers set off on the 16th annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike…

Saturday will be a downhill battle for some cyclists — literally — as racers set off on the 16th annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay.

Cyclists will set off on the 238.3-kilometre course that stretches from Haines Junction, Yukon, across the border to Haines, Alaska, between 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., depending on their race category.

The race, which is broken up into eight stages, is expected to feature more than 250 relay teams, made up of from 1,000 competitors.

Teams of two, four, six and eight will make up the majority of the field, however some cyclist will be taking on the journey solo.

For safety reasons, sections of the Haines Highway will be closed Saturday morning.

Northbound lanes from Kathleen River will be closed at 8 a.m. through 10 a.m. and southbound lanes at Haines Junction will be off limits at 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

To help expedite border crossings for competitors and support vehicles, US Customs is opening two extra lanes at the border.

Passports for Canadian and US citizens are not required, but are highly recommended in order to speed up the crossing process.

Citizens of other countries must present passports.

A post-race dinner and celebration will take place between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Parade Grounds. Racers and spectators are invited to lounge at the beer garden that overlooks the finish line.

Results will be available late Saturday at the finish line, but will not be made official until the following morning. The award ceremony will take place Sunday 9 a.m. at the parade grounds.

For more information, visit www.kcibr.org.