The 2018 King of the Canyon race hosted by the Contagious Mountain Bike Club was in Whitehorse on Aug. 25 underneath gloomy skies.
Nine riders braved the chilly morning to complete either a 50-kilometre or 25-km loop from the Schwatka Lake boat launch up Grey Mountain and back along a series of trails.
Ian Parker was the winner, earning the title “King of the Canyon” with a time of two hours, 53 minutes and 25 seconds.
Parker will reign alone this year, as there were no entries in the women’s 50-km race. This is the first race without a queen since 2009.
Chris Jastrebski finished second in the race with a time of three hours, three minutes and 45 seconds, followed by Francois Clark in third with a time of three hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds. Tony Painter was fourth and Simon Geoffroy-Gagnon was fifth.
In the 25-km race, Craig Machtans was the 2018 “Prince of the Canyon” — and the only rider to finish the race before the rain started — with a time of one hour, 40 minutes and five seconds. Machtans previously won the 50-km race in 2014.
Perry Hynes finished in second, just seven minutes behind Machtans, in a time of one hour, 47 minutes and 53 seconds.
Denise McCann and Andrea Morgan finished together with times of three hours, 18 minutes and 19 and 20 seconds respectively, meaning there are two “Princesses of the Canyon” this year.
Race organizer Colin McCann said racers mentioned a portion of the trail started to get slick once the rain started.
“Some of the trail on Juicy got a little bit slippery,” said McCann. “The latter half of the riders were saying it was a little bit slippery on some of the roots. It’s a pretty good ‘flowy’ trail, but there are some off-camber roots there.”
This year’s race had a slight change from last year’s course — and a slight change compared to the course map — but McCann said it didn’t impact the race.
“The only change was kind of a moot point — it wasn’t like it was a whole different loop,” said McCann. “It was just one of the connections between two of the main trails (that) was changed and I went back to the original one.”
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1 Ian Parker 2:53:25
2 Chris Jastrebski 3:03:45
3 Francois Clark 3:15:55
4 Tony Painter 3:24:55
5 Simon Geoffroy- Gagnon 3:39:09
1 Craig Machtans 1:40:05
2 Perry Hynes 1:47:53
1 Denise McCann 3:18:19
2 Andrea Morgan 3:18:20