Members of the U Kon Echelon took on some of the fastest in B.C. and gave breakthrough performances over the weekend.
Ten cyclists from the Yukon
club competed at the Hayman Classic 2015 Provincial Championships in Penticton.
“I’m very happy. When we’re placing in U19, like 15th and 16th, that’s a great result,” said U Kon coach Trena Irving. “That’s a super-competitive category. Some of those boys are going to go on to the national team, if they’re not already there.
“So it’s pretty hard to take our kids, who are not at the same level, and go down and do a race like that. They did well, they hung in there as long as they could with the pack, and finished it on their own. I’m really pleased.”
Whitehorse’s Ava Irving-Staley rode hard and rode to hardware. The 10-year-old placed third out of five riders in general classification (GC) for under-13 girls.
“I’m very happy, actually. I was very surprised,” said Irving-Staley. “I thought I was going to be coming maybe fifth or sixth.
“It was fun to have a lot of my friends because … last year we had four and this year we had 10, so it was a lot better.”
In addition to taking bronze overall, Irving-Staley raced to third in the time trial and the criterium, and fourth in the road race. Saturday’s crit stands out for her.
“I felt I worked very hard and I think it was my favourite,” said Irving-Staley.
“I started cycling when I was seven. I got this really small road bike,” she added. “My mom (Trena Irving) has been training me and making sure I get lots of good experience in biking.”
U Kon teammate Gabrielle Perreault placed fourth in GC in the same age group, with a third place in the road race, and teammate Isla Hupe took fifth in GC.
Marsh Lake’s Caius Taggart-Cox cracked the top-10 in GC for under-13 boys.
At just 11 years old, he was one of the younger ones in the 15-rider division.
“It was really exciting, it was hot, and it was good to race people who aren’t in your club and somewhere else,” said Caius.
“I feel (my results) are really good considering how fast the competition was there.”
“That’s a great result,” said Irving. “That’s a pretty competitive category with 15 boys in it. And these guys are racing all the time, they have a lot more availability of races than we do.”
Taggart-Cox placed 13th in the time trial, 11th in the crit and 10th in the road race.
“I really liked the criterium,” said Caius. “That’s a very strategic race because you have to figure out when to make a break for it or where to be in the pack and stuff like that.”
Brother Lucas rode to 12th in Sunday’s 21-kilometre road race, bumping up to 13th in GC in the same division.
Older brother Micah Taggart-Cox, up a division in under-15 boys, snatched 13th in Sunday’s 42-kilometre road race and took the same in the GC. U Kon teammate Tristan Muir rode to 15th in the time trial and crit, but sat out the road race.
“You want to talk about potential, the Taggart-Cox boys have had extremely good results this season locally,” said Irving. “I said to them, ‘If you can up your training and get you to more races, that’s going to fare well for you.’
“(Caius) was with the pack the whole time, he just lost it in the crit at the end – they sprinted off on him.’ For Western Canada Games and Canada Games, I’m targeting them for the future.”
U Kon’s Ian Hansen and David Jackson faced some tough competition in the championships’ largest division, under-19 boys.
After placing 22nd and 23rd out of 23 riders in Saturday’s time trial, Hansen and Jackson moved up to 16th and 17th in Sunday’s 105-kilometre road race as much of the field dropped out.
“When I go to races with riders, I tell them, ‘We’re paying money and we’re getting funding, and we fundraise a lot, you finish your races. You don’t quit because you get dropped from the pack,’” said Irving.
Hanson placed 15th, Jackson 16th in GC.
U Kon Echelon para athlete Cayla Jackson placed 12th in the time trial on her way to 13th in GC for under-15 girls.
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