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Mountain bikers get the rust out at Boogaloos

It's the start of a new season, but the long Yukon winter didn't change much in the way of who's fast on a mountain bike.

It’s the start of a new season, but the long Yukon winter didn’t change much in the way of who’s fast on a mountain bike.

Some familiar names were on the top of the standings following the sixth annual Boogaloos season opener that started and ended at the Magnusson trail parking lot on Grey Mountain Road on Saturday.

Four-time Yukon mountain bike champ Tamara Goeppel of Whitehorse was the top female and Canada Games rider Spencer Skerget of Watson Lake was the top male in the long race on the “Boogaloo” trails, which get the name from a popular dance in the 1960s.

“It was fun once we finished,” joked Goeppel. “It’s a good eye-opener. It’s a great course, lots of climbing, you never really get a break, and if you lose your focus for a second all of a sudden a tree jumps out.

“It’s a good way to start mountain biking again ... I don’t know if I’m the only one, but there were a couple of hills I thought my legs were going to fall off.”

Goeppel, who won her fourth Yukon women’s title last year, completed the 16-kilometre course in about 57 minutes. (Official times were not recorded.)

Sammie Salter placed second and Jeni Rudisill third for women.

Skerget, who placed second at last year’s Boogaloo race and at the Yukon mountain biking championships, completed the 16-kilometre course in about 51 minutes.

“It’s a beautiful day, it’s a fun course,” said the 20-years-old. “It was a little shorter, a little less climbing (than last year). You didn’t go all the way to the top, which was nice. It was a little bit faster. Overall, a good, fun course.”

James Minifie came in second and Shane Phillips in third overall out of 43 riders on the long course.

Skerget represented Yukon at the Canada Summer Games last August in Sherbrooke, Que., placing 15th in the sprint and 16th in the cross-country race. He also helped Yukon’s team place sixth in the relay race.

Skerget attends University of Victoria and this spring took part in the Island Cup Series on Vancouver Island.

“I had some good results,” said Skerget. “I had a sixth place, which was better than my previous best result of 10th place. I finished seventh overall in the series and I’m pretty happy with that.”

Eleven-year-old Victor Thibeault was the top male rider in the 10-kilometre short course, crossing the finish line in about an hour.

Luanda Pronovost was the top female on the short course.

“(The course) was good, but at some parts it was really bumpy,” said Thibeault, who is a member of Boreal Mountain Biking’s youth club. “Lots of roots.”

The Boogaloos, which was the first major event on the Contagious Mountain Bike Club’s calendar for the season, also included a “short-short” five-kilometre race for kids under 10 and the 2014 Run Bike World Championships for kids under six.

A total of 77 riders participated in the event.

Contact Tom Patrick at