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Steep hills welcome riders in mountain bike series

You know it's a steep hill when some mountain bikers decide to dismount and walk down. That was the case for some in the third race in the Whitehorse high school mountain bike series.

You know it’s a steep hill when some mountain bikers decide to dismount and walk down. That was the case for some in the third race in the Whitehorse high school mountain bike series hosted by FH Collins Secondary School near the Schwatka Lake Recreation Area on Wednesday.

“FH tries to move our site every two years, so I guess this is our third location since we started the series,” said FH coach Chris McNeill. “I think it’s always a combination of finding a balance between it being challenging and fun, but not too dangerous.

“So there were some steep hills in this, but the kids handled it well.”

After finishing second in last week’s race at Mount McIntyre because of a broken derailleur that kept her in a high gear, FH’s Audrianna Antilla bounced back to take first, moving her out of a first-place tie in the standings with FH’s Sara Burke-Forsythe.

“I loved this one - it was all roly and fun,” said Antilla.

Unlike her competition in the girls’ race, Antilla chose not to walk her bike down the steep hill midway through the course.

“It gave her an advantage,” said McNeill. “I think she was the only girl with a full-faced helmet, so it was probably not a bad decision on her part. She’s got a lot of riding experience and I think it showed on that hill.”

Antilla, who just moved to Whitehorse from Atlin at the start of the school year, has not done much exploring of the area, but is fast learning why many consider trails around Whitehorse to be of world-class quality.

“I haven’t really gone out anywhere, but this has really shown me my options,” said Antilla. “I really didn’t know about these (trails).”

Ecole Emilie Tremblay’s Simon Geoffroy won his second straight race in the Grade 9/10 division, further securing his top-spot position in the standings. Geoffroy’s only loss was a second-place finish in the first race, coming in behind Porter Creek’s Nigel Sinclair-Eckert, who has been absent from the series ever since.

“When I first tried it the uphill was really long and very good, but I really liked the downhill,” said Geoffroy. “At the beginning there were two guys ahead of me and one wiped out at the beginning and the other one I passed.”

Vanier’s Elliot Berg repeated his result from last week, taking second and maintaining his position of No. 2 in the standings.

In the Grade 8 division Porter Creek’s Shea Hoffman won his second straight race, moving him up to third overall in the division standings.

“I was a little sluggish off the start, other than that it was pretty good,” said Hoffman. “Last week at Mount McIntyre the flats were shorter. I really liked this one, it was faster.”

Finishing second behind Hoffman was the series leader Aiden Allen from Ecole Emilie Tremblay. Allen won the first race but has finished second in the following two after Hoffman joined the series.

After missing the first three races, Vanier’s Brock Arcand finished third in the 9/10s, moving up past five competitors in the standings to eighth overall.

Porter Creek’s Logan Boehmer took first in the 11/12 event, but because he was absent from the first two races, he sits at the bottom of the standings in fourth. Classmate Jason Zrum, who finished Wednesday’s race in second, holds the top spot in the standings.

FH’s Alidas Jamnicky continued his dominance over classmate and last year’s BMX champ, Nathan Seifert, in the small, two-person BMX division. Jamnicky has now won all three races, the only rider in the series to do so.

Contact Tom Patrick at