Stalwart cyclists brave the elements in Skagway

If racing a 19-kilometre course climbing roughly 1,000-metres in altitude wasn’t tough enough, try throwing near-freezing temperatures and rain into the equation.

If racing a 19-kilometre course climbing roughly 1,000-metres in altitude wasn’t tough enough, try throwing near-freezing temperatures and rain into the equation.

That’s what cyclists dealt with on the final day of the Tour of Skagway, held May 20-21. With cyclists perhaps frightened off by weather forecasts, numbers were down this year at the fourth annual event hosted by the U Kon Echelon Cycling Club. Sixteen raced last year and about 30 in 2015.

“This year did not see big numbers as only 12 riders participated. It was extremely wet, only two degrees and very hard,” said U Kon coach Trena Irving.

“In order to win the overall category, riders must participate in all three events, which many did not. Standout efforts go to all riders participating due to the horrible weather, and Mollie Fraser did a great job on the hill, not stopping until she got to the top. David Jackson broke his record on the hill as well, and Ava Irving-Staley stayed with it although it was a tough climb in rainy cold conditions.”

Whitehorse’s David Jackson kept a win streak going in Skagway. The 20-year-old, who won the expert men’s general classification the previous weekend at the Tour de Haines Junction, did the same in Skagway. He also won U Kon’s season-opening time trial event on May 10.

“His goal is to go to the Canada Games this season, so he’s started this season off just on fire,” said Irving in an interview last week.

Jackson completed the 20-kilometre time trial in 31:19, the 48-kilometre road race in 1:12:43 and the grueling hill climb in 1:16:06. He was fastest in the trial and climb while Eric Campbell was fastest in the road race at 98:53.

Irving also made it two in a row with GC wins in the Junction and Skagway in the sport women’s division. She was fastest in the trial and road, while Sandy Birell topped the field on the hill.

Mollie Fraser took first in the GC of under-15 girls, though second place’s Ava Irving Staley outpaced her by two seconds in the time trial.

Johna Irving Staley climbed to the top of the under-13 GC results in Skagway, ahead of Eleanor Setterington.

Under-15 boys didn’t have a GC winner, but Oscar Setterington finished the 48-kilometre road race in 1:09:33 and Noah Wright the 20-kilometre time trial in 44:55.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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