Small turnout for VeloNorth season closer

With the Klondike Trail of '98 international Road Relay taking place this weekend, it seems many of VeloNorth's cyclists have already traded in their bikes for running shoes.

With the Klondike Trail of ‘98 international Road Relay taking place this weekend, it seems many of VeloNorth’s cyclists have already traded in their bikes for running shoes.

This was evident at VeloNorth’s second installment of the Skagway Hill Climb race this season on Sunday. The smallest turnout of the season, only four cyclists attempted the 19-kilometre time trial from Skagway to the White Pass Summit, climbing roughly 1,000 metres in altitude.

“I think that because we planned this race late in the season, most people are probably thinking about the Klondike Road Relay,” said VeloNorth’s Mike McCann. “I think if it was maybe a week sooner, it may have more people.”

Though small in size, the race was nonetheless an international one with two Alaskans coming out, including Juneau’s Rob Welton, who won the race with a time of 57 minutes and 17 seconds.

“It’s one of those (races) where you go like hell and then, ‘That’s too hard,’ and you slow down,” said Welton. “You start daydreaming and you have to remind yourself, ‘Work. Get your legs moving again.’”

The win was both Welton’s second of the season and second in his riding career, winning a Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club earlier this summer.

“It’s all about rhythm and concentrating on form,” said Welton. “Speed skaters say that – it’s all about them not letting their form deteriorate. It’s kind of like that biking. You can’t just mash with force, you’ll blow yourself out and your legs will die. You have to be smooth and keep your form clean, and then you can sustain that.”

Taking second was Skagway’s Spencer Morgan in 1:07:15, ahead of Whitehorse’s Bill Curtis in third at 1:13:20. McCann, who was just two seconds behind Welton three quarters through the climb, did not finish. (McCann finished one spot up from Welton in this summer’s Tour of Juneau in fifth overall.)

“I just ran out of gas; I just didn’t have it today,” said McCann. “I saw my (support) vehicle and thought, ‘Naw, I can get a ride.’”

Another time trial set for the previous Sunday suffered a similar fate as the Skagway Hill Climb. Scheduled at the same time as the Chocolate Claim Pre-Skagway 10-miler running race, the time trial was cancelled due to a small turnout.

In the season’s first Skagway Hill Climb in May, Whitehorse’s Tamara Goeppel broke her own course record from the year before, completing the race in 59 minutes, 11 seconds, shaving off 1:54.

Whitehorse’s Troy Henry, who won the Tour of Anchorage last month, set the men’s record of 51:39 in 2009.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Just Posted

John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file
Catherine Elliott, Yukon acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, has announced two new COVID-19 cases in the Yukon.
Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed, Porter Creek Secondary prom cancelled

Graduating students are encouraged to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms

Jim Elliot/Yukon News
Ross and Cindy Smith are finding more reason to smile as the floodwaters that almost reached their farm house were beginning to recede on June 8.
Farms on South Klondike Highway experience severe flooding

The nearest body of water is a lake almost three kilometres away


Wyatt’s World for June 11, 2021.… Continue reading

Whitehorse courthouse interior on April 6, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
CYFN launches pilot program for community impact statements

First Nations will receive support developing statements after major crimes

Israr Ahmed speaks at a vigil at the Whitehorse Mosque to honour the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on June 10. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukoners gather to honour Muslim family killed in London

Like many communities across the country, Yukoners came together to honour the Muslim family murdered in London Ontario

The RCMP Critical Incident Program will be training in Watson Lake from June 14-16. Mike Thomas/Yukon News
RCMP will conduct three days of training in Watson Lake

Lakeview Apartment in Watson Lake will be used for RCMP training

John Tonin/Yukon News Squash players duke it out during Yukon Open tournament action at Better Bodies on June 5.
Four division titles earned at squash Yukon Open

The territory’s squash talent was on full display at the 2021 Yukon Open

Runners leave the start line of the 2014 Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay Skagway. The 2021 race will start at checkpoint six and remain in the Yukon only. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)
Klondike Road Relay returns to in-person after a virtual year

A modified, in-person Klondike Road Relay will be open to Yukoners

John Tonin/Yukon News Rang Pillai speaks at the Great Yukon Summer press conference on May 27.
‘The sooner the better’: Operators react to Great Yukon Summer campaign

The Great Yukon Summer campaign was announced May 27 and begins June 4

Mayor Dan Curtis stands in front of Minister Richard Mostyn and MP Larry Bagnell during an infastructure announcement made outside Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse on June 2. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Safety improvements planned for Whitehorse school zones

Enhanced pedestrian crosses are planned to make walking to school safer

2020 Haines Junction graduates line up for a photo on May 27, 2020 as part of a celebration parade through the village. While the St. Elias Community School is able to host an outdoor grad ceremony for 2021 grads this year, it will also host a parade and group photo as it did last year. (Marty Samis/Submitted)
Ceremonies and parades all part of 2021 grad

2021 sees old traditions return with some 2020 events adopted

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
New city hall could cost $24.7 million

Council will be presented with latest plans June 7

Most Read