U Kon Echelon to keep cyclists busy this season

If you plan to hit all the U Kon Echelon Club events this season, you might need a new pair of tires by the end. The club is making its third season its biggest yet.

If you plan to hit all the U Kon Echelon Club events this season, you might need a new pair of tires by the end.

The club is making its third season its biggest yet. There’s new races, expansion of others, as well as the classics.

The Echelon Club, which got the ball rolling with a time trial on the Alaska Highway on Wednesday, is bringing a race to the Junction.

Say hello to the Haines Junction 88 Road Race, a new 88-kilometre road race from Haines Junction to Dezadeash and back, on May 10.

“They have the best pavement in the Yukon, really, so I wanted to do a race out there,” said club director Trena Irving. “I wanted to do a tour, but I thought for a first year I don’t want to take on too much. Let’s start it as a one-day race and see what happens. If lots of people come out and it’s positive, next year we’ll make it into a stage race.”

U Kon has teamed up with Alaska’s Sockeye Cycle to turn the annual Skagway Hill Climb into a three-stage, two-day event.

The inaugural Tour de Skagway will still include the grueling, leg-burning 20-kilometre climb up the summit outside Skagway on May 18. But it will now be sandwiched between a 81-kilometre road race on May 17 and 24-kilometre time trial in the afternoon of May 18.

“Skagway is all abuzz about the new event and is planning to send out its fastest riders to show us how to ‘tame the hill,’” said Irving.

The U Kon Echelon Club has also taken over the Tour de Whitehorse stage event in June from Yukon’s VeloNorth Cycling Club.

VeloNorth’s main event will be the Yukon Road Race Championships on June 1.

Echelon, which plans to bring cyclists to Cycling B.C.‘s Junior Provincial Road Championships in June, is also hosting a Yukon High School Bike Race for a third year on May 21. This year a mountain bike race will be held as a school event followed by a road race open to cyclists of all ages.

“The last two years I’ve had a dismal turnout, only my school, Porter Creek Secondary, has entered it,” said Irving. “I’m hoping this year to get some kids from F.H. (Collins) and Vanier and whatnot.”

More information, including a full season schedule, can be found at ukonechelon.weebly.com.

Upcoming events

May 10 – Haines Junction 88   Road Race

May 17 – 18 – Tour de Skagway

May 21 – Yukon High School Bike Race

May 28 – North Klondike Time Trial

June 1 – Yukon Road Race Championships

June 11 – 14 – Tour de Whitehorse

July 1 – Canada Day criterium

July 19 – Jakes Corner Road Race

June 7 – 8 – Cycling B.C.‘s Junior Provincial Road Championships

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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