Henry skates, cycles in Alberta

Whitehorse's Troy Henry made cycling headlines all summer, with a top-20 finish in a time trial at the Canada Summer Games and by dominating expert men's races at VeloNorth Cycling Club events.

Whitehorse’s Troy Henry made cycling headlines all summer, with a top-20 finish in a time trial at the Canada Summer Games and by dominating expert men’s races at VeloNorth Cycling Club events.

However, with the change of seasons the cyclist has turned his attention to his other passion, short-track speed skating.

Competing at the 2009 Oktoberfest, an international event held last week in Calgary, where he’s studying at university, Henry set personal best times in each of his events.

“It’s really early in the season to set personal bests,” said Henry. “Usually personal bests come in after December – it’s almost unheard of to get three in the first meet after only skating for a month.

“I hadn’t made them much better in about two-and-a-half years, so they were kind of old and it was time I got rid of them.”

In his best event, the 1,500-metre, Henry finished 19th, shaving two-seconds off his previous best. He also finished 33rd in the 500-metre.

His results in the 1,500-metre event qualifies Henry to race at the national team qualifier, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, at the end of next month. If he reaches the top 16 at that event, Henry will go to the national team trials where the top five competitors will get placed on the team for one of four World Cup events this season.

Getting in some end-of-season cycling, Henry took fourth-place finish in Division 1 of the 30th annual Provincial Hill Climb Championships of Alberta a month ago near Banff. The event was a 5.4-kilometre event, climbing about 600 metres in altitude, with an individual start times, forcing riders to give all they have and hope for good results.

“You don’t really know how the other guys are doing,” said Henry. “So you have to go all-out the whole time.”

Henry set a course record at the VeloNorth’s first Skagway Hill Climb of the season in May.

This weekend Henry will be at the Edmonton Fall Classic in speed skating.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com