Trena Irving, Tori Vollmer and Mathilde Roldan compete in the criterium stage of the 2019 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

U Kon Echelon holds multi-stage Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships

The 2019 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships were held in and around Whitehorse from May 30 to June 2.

The championships kicked off with a circuit race in Whistle Bend on May 30, followed by a criterium race in Marwell on May 31, a road race — a leg of the Southern Lakes Yukon GranFondo (SLYGF) — on June 1 and a time trial on the North Klondike Highway on June 2.

A total of 10 riders completed the three races used to calculate the GC, general classification, rankings – the criterium, the road race and the time trial.

The Whistle Bend circuit race was not included in the rankings and functioned as a prologue for the weekend.

Trena Irving, championships organizer and coach with U Kon Echelon Bike Club, said the turnout could have been higher, but that this is a busy time for everyone.

“I think it’s just the time of year,” she said. “People have a lot going on. Maybe for next year, I’ll try to think of a different weekend.”

Including those who didn’t race all three GC events, the total turnout was 16.

“It would have been really cool to have 16 or 20 for the whole tour, but it is what it is,” said Irving. “You can’t have it perfect and 16 is great – way better than four or five.”

While the criterium and time trial are easy to both rank and time, this year’s decision to use the SLYGF made things a bit complicated when the time came to tabulate results.

“I had people go and ride legs one and two if they were adults or older teens, and then other kids could just pick a leg,” explained Irving. “It was good because we got more participation (in the SLYGF), but for the future I think I’d have to think about having people do the same distance.”

With some riders racing 48 kilometres and others 41 km, for example, it was not as simple as adding up the times.

“I just didn’t really count that in the overall time,” said Irving. “If you wanted to be part of the GC, you had to do the race, period.”

The weather is a factor in any outdoor sporting event and although it was mainly dry for most of the races, the rain and wind did impact Saturday’s road race somewhat.

Irving said she started the race slowly, riding with younger kids to help them finish their legs, before linking up with Taiga Buurman to help him with his leg.

“I did 82 km then I helped him do his 40 km and then it was just miserable,” said Irving. “I was glad to be there to support him because by the time we got back out to the Alaska Highway, it was beautiful. It was a tailwind and the rain went away and it was sunny. … But going from the Spirit Lake Lodge to Kookatsoon Lake was miserable, absolutely.”

Leading the way in the GC standings were Thomas Vollmer and Alex LeBarge at the under 11 and novice boys levels, as well as Johna Irving-Staley in under 13 boys, Tori Vollmer in under 15 girls, Alaskan Will Coleman in expert men and Irving in expert women.

Tori, Irving said, had a great weekend on her bike.

“On Sunday she said, ‘I just had my best race ever,’” said Irving. “When an athlete says that, as a couch, you get all excited. Why? What happened? What was different? And she said, ‘my pedaling and my cadence and the flow of it just clicked.’ So she’s doing a time trial — so she’s not chasing anyone down, she’s not drafting — she’s just pure power on her own.”

The race was a personal record for Tori, and Irving said she thinks her eyes are set on the Western Canada Summer Games.

“She wants to go there and (get) a really strong result,” said Irving.

In the field again this year was David Jackson, who does a lot of racing in B.C. and was one of the founding athletes when the club started.

“It’s always great to see him and just see how far he’s come in 10 years,” said Irving of Jackson, who is racing June 7 to 9 at the Robert Cameron Cycling Series in Victoria, B.C. “David is so impressive. He doesn’t give himself enough credit sometimes for just how far he’s come with his athletic endeavour in cycling.”

Despite some iffy weather and small numbers, Irving said the young athletes never thought of stopping.

“Those kids, I have to say hats off to them because they just ride,” said Irving. “I never ever have an expectation that we’re going to quit – I would never even think that – so they don’t either. They’re just like, ‘I’m going to finish this. My coach believes in me; I’m going to believe in me.’”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at

Time trial results

U11 boys (10 km)

1 Thomas Vollmer 24:59

Novice boys (10 km)

1 Alex LeBarge 25:39

U13 boys (10 km)

1 Johna Irving-Staley 10:19

2 Taiga Buurman 11:02

U15 girls (20 km)

1 Tori Vollmer 37:18

2 Mathilde Roldan 41:29

Expert men (20 km)

1 Will Coleman 28:18

2 David Jackson 30:29

3 Rod Savoie 33:38

Sport men (20 km)

1 Mike Setterington 36:32

Expert women (20 km)

1 Trena Irving 35:49

Road race results

U11 boys (20 km)

1 Thomas Vollmer 1:09:39

Novice boys (20 km)

1 Alex LeBarge 57:00

U13 boys

1 Taiga Buurman 1:40:00 (38 km)

2 Johna Irving-Staley 2:07:00 (41 km)

U15 girls

1 Tori Vollmer 1:30:00 (38 km)

2 Mathilde Roldan 1:38:00 (51 km)

U15 boys

1 James McCann 1:35:00 (51 km)

Expert men

1 Will Coleman 2:31:36 (82 km)

2 David Jackson 2:49:08 (83 km)

3 Rod Savoie 2:49:12 (82 km)

Sport men

1 Mike Setterington 3:08:34 (83 km)

Expert women

1 Trena Irving 4:07:25 (82 km)

Criterium results

U10 boys (3 laps)

1 Gabe Harries

U11 boys (20 minutes)

1 Thomas Vollmer

Novice boys (20 minutes)

1 Alex LeBarge

U13 boys (20 minutes)

1 Taiga Buurman

2 Johna Irving-Staley

U15 girls (20 minutes)

1 Tori Vollmer

2 Mathilde Roldan

Expert men (40 minutes)

1 Marc Lapointe

2 David Jackson

3 Will Coleman

4 Rod Savoie

5 Joel Macht

6 Geof Harries

Expert women (40 minutes)

1 Trena Irving

GC results

U11 boys

1 Thomas Vollmer

Novice boys

1 Alex LeBarge

U13 boys

1 Johna Irving-Staley

2 Taiga Buurman

U15 girls

1 Tori Vollmer

2 Mathilde Roldan

Expert men

1 Will Coleman

2 David Jackson

3 Rod Savoie

Expert women

1 Trena Irving

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Johna Irving-Staley starts the time trial stage of the Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships on June 2. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

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