New solo winners at Southern Lakes Gran Fondo

Not only did the Southern Lakes Gran Fondo get two new solo champions this year, both were in the race for their first time.

Not only did the Southern Lakes Gran Fondo get two new solo champions this year, both were in the race for their first time.

Whitehorse riders Verena Koenig and Matthias Purdon won the women’s and men’s solo divisions at the 10th annual race June 3.

“I hope it’s going to become more popular because I think it’s a great race before the Haines to Haines, just to see where you’re at,” said Koenig, referring to the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay on June 17. “It’s just a great event and I would never do that loop unless I do it in the race. It’s a great loop.”

The start/finish line rotates between the five communities that the race runs through. This year the race went from Tagish to Carcross to Mount Lorne to Golden Horn to Marsh Lake and back to Tagish

Koenig, 33, completed the 173-kilometre course in five hours, 18 minutes and 30 seconds, posting the fastest solo women’s time since Whitehorse’s Tamara Goeppel set the record in 2011.

“It was a good ride. I’ve been feeling really strong this year, especially on the hills,” said Koenig. “My favourite was the first part in Tagish and Carcross because that’s where all the hill are.”

Haines, Alaska’s Heather Lende placed second in the solo women’s division at 6:31:35. Whitehorse’s Valerie Girard claimed third at 7:43:51.

Purdon took the solo men’s title in a sprint to the finish ahead of two other Whitehorse cyclists. Purdon finished in 5:02:48, beating Ian Parker by five seconds and Colin Abbott by 12.

Parker and fellow Whitehorse cyclist Stephen Ball hold the course record in the Southern Lakes race, finishing in four hours and 42 minutes in 2013.

Whitehorse cyclists won all available titles at the race this year.

Rob Rees and Joy Vall took the two-person title with a time of 6:01:06. Haines’ Ernest Kemp and Chandler Kemp took second at 6:27:11. Marsh Lake’s Malcolm Taggart and Jody Cox came third at 6:52:07.

Whitehorse’s Bill Curtis, Mike McCann, Ron Sumanik and Tom Ullyett made up the top 3-5-person team, crossing the finish line at 5:36:14.

The Gran Fondo, which was called the Southern Lakes Bike Loppet up to a few years ago, had two new 3-5-person divisions this year.

Whitehorse’s Grace Sheardown-Waugh, Bill Waugh, Wyatt Sheardown-Waugh and Ron Tait finished in 6:23:40 to win the new family division. U Kon Echelon riders Oscar Setterington, Mollie Fraser and Veronica Porter of Whitehorse topped the youth division at 6:26:50.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read