Yukon mountain biking’s royal court contained some familiar faces on Sunday as past champs took back crowns.
Whitehorse’s David Gonda and Meagan Wilson regained king and queen status with wins at the King of the Canyon – Yukon’s mountain bike championships – hosted by the Contagious Mountain Bike Club at Mount McIntyre.
“It felt like a lot of climbing,” said Wilson. “I was pretty tired, but it was fun. It’s nice to be out biking – especially since the rain held off. It was supposed to pour, but it held off.”
Wilson, who won in 2012 and placed second last year, completed the two 25-kilometre laps in three hours, 24 minutes and 52 seconds for first. The 31-year-old also won the solo women’s division at the 24 Hours of Light Mountain Bike Festival the last two years.
Moving up from a third place finish last year was Sammy Salter in second at 3:32:00.
Kirsten Hogan, who placed second on the short course last year, came in at four hours even for third.
“It’s nice to have the title back,” said Wilson, who is originally from Vancouver. “I started mountain biking when I moved up here, so I’ve been biking for five years. I decided trail running was too hard on my knees, so I took up mountain biking.”
Gonda was probably a little more careful with his navigation this year. Last year he was leading the race when he accidently missed a section of the course and was disqualified.
On Sunday he finished the 50-kilometres in 2:37:18 for his fourth title, having last won it in 2013.
Rob McConnell placed second at 2:44:54 and Ian Parker third at 2:49:08.
Whitehorse’s Craig Machtans kept royal status but didn’t come away with the big crown this time around.
Machtans, who was king last year, was the prince on Sunday, taking first on the shorter 25-kilometre course. He came in with a time of 1:25:55.
Two-time prince Evan Wise (1:32:50) came second and Phil Hoffman (1:40:00) third.
Trish Steele, who is new to Whitehorse, grabbed the princess title, coming in at 1:54:38. Thaidra Sloane completed the 25K course in
2:06:36 for second and Jill Buxton at 2:43:10 for third.
“It was really well organized; they did a great job flagging. And we had a barbeque afterwards, so it’s nice to hang out with lots of other bikers,” said Wilson.
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