U Kon cyclists face tough field at B.C. championships

Members of U Kon Echlon cycling club went wheel-to-wheel with a tough field of B.C. riders over the weekend.

Members of U Kon Echlon cycling club went wheel-to-wheel with a tough field of B.C. riders over the weekend.

In most cases the cyclists with the Whitehorse-based developmental club were competing against older and more experienced riders at the 2013 B.C. Provincial Youth Road Cycling Championships in Courtney, B.C.

But the Yukon cyclists eked out small accomplishments along the way.

“It’s hard going down there because those kids race all the time and they have each other to race against and ride with,” said U Kon head coach Trena Irving. “We just have each other up here and it puts us at a major disadvantage.”

U Kon’s Mathew Knaack had a literal and figurative uphill battle on Saturday.

In the 10-kilometre hill climb, the 14-year-old Knaack was cycling in the under-17 division, but beat two B.C. riders finishing 15th out of 18.

“He beat out two of the B.C. riders and beat David (Jackson) from our club as well,” said Irving. “But the thing is Mathew is only 14 and he’s in the under-17 category, which means most of those kids could be the higher end of 17. He might have been the youngest one in that category or close to it.”

Whitehorse’s Cayla Jackson was a crowd favourite in Courtney. Cayla was the only competitor in the paracyclist category but, riding with Irving on a tandem bike, completed all her races for first place.

“Everybody cheered for her, I mean everybody,” said Irving. “She felt like a rock star. Everyone was like, ‘Go, Cayla, go!’

U Kon’s Shea Hoffman, 17, had older competition to ride with in the under-19 event.

But Hoffman beat a B.C. cyclist in the criterium.

“He’s in a pool with boys who have probably been racing longer than he has,” said Irving. “They are in areas where they can travel all the time, go to competitions on the weekends. That’s our problem up here: trying to get Shea people to ride with.”

Hoffman is currently one of two road cyclists who will represent Yukon at the Canada Summer Games this August in Sherbrooke, Que.

David Jackson might have been at the bottom of the field in under-17 boys, but he proved his spirit was indomitable.

“There was a bit of a hill in the criterium, and everyone is lined up and cheering for the kids. People were so positive, it was wonderful,” said Irving. “David was having such a good time because everyone was cheering him on and being positive, he came up the hill with a smile on his face. That was my happy moment there because hill-climbing is hard for the best of us, but when you’re doing it in a race with a smile on your face, that’s pretty good.”

The U Kon Echelon club is hoping to send its riders to a training camp Victoria, B.C., at the end of July. There they will get instruction from former national track cyclist Lister Farrar of Tripleshot Cycling in Victoria.

“We’re going to try to get enough fundraising money together to send the kids down,” said Irving. “They would be working with a coach named Lister Farrar, and he’s really well known down there for youth cycling.

“And the kids would get to try out track cycling, which would be really neat since we have our local hero (Zach Bell) who made his name in track cycling. All the kids are really interested in that.”

Irving is also hoping to establish a Yukon youth championships in the future.

For more information visit ukonechelon.weebly.com.

Contact Tom Patrick at


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

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read