Seven Yukon cyclists were in Penticton, B.C., for the 2019 Hayman Classic.
The multi-stage race consisted of a time trial hill climb and circuit race on May 24, a criterium on May 25 and finished with a road race on May 26.
Rather than dividing the field based on age and gender, the field — other than the under 19 categories — was self-selected based on ability.
The change, per the race’s website, was designed to provide “flexibility to help each rider find their appropriate level.”
An unintended side effect of this change, however, was 14 of 15 cash prizes for top-five finishes being awarded to male riders and just one female — the Yukon’s Mara Roldan — riding in the ability ‘A’ category.
Racing on the weekend began with a time trial, which doubled as a final chance for riders to ensure they were in the appropriate ability categories for general classification (GC) competition.
Three females rode in the ability ‘A’ category, and they were all from the Yukon. Mara finished the 10.9-km race first with a time of 23 minutes and 15.81 seconds. Next to finish was Ava Irving-Staley in second with a time of 26 minutes and 2.74 seconds, followed by Aisha Roldan in a time of 26 minutes and 5.93 seconds.
Tori Vollmer and Mathilde Roldan finished 10th and 11th among females in the ability ‘B’ category. Vollmer had a time of 26 minutes and 40.37 seconds, and Mathilde had a time of 27 minutes and 53.91.
Rounding out the time trial results, Johna Irving-Staley and Taiga Buurman finished eighth and 10th in the male ability ‘C’ category.
In the circuit races later on May 24, the Yukoners had more strong results.
Mara finished a lap down in the ability ‘A’ category 58-km race, which was also her first circuit race Outside.
In the shorter 39-km ability ‘B’ category race, Aisha was fourth among females after finishing with the top three. Ava finished two laps down.
Both Buurman and Johna had strong races in the ability ‘C’ 29-km race, finishing 10th and 11th.
Coach Trena Irving explained that the difference in training really shows in races like this.
“A lot of the kids down there are training and racing a lot more than we are,” said Irving. “So when you go and you don’t have four or five days of training in a week, it’s going to show down there because that’s what those kids are doing.”
In the ability ‘C’ race, Mathilde was fourth among females while Vollmer did not finish.
It was more similar results in the criterium on May 25.
Despite only having one gear thanks to mechanical issues, Mara finished just three laps down in the 30-minute ability ‘A’ criterium.
“Her gears went on here and she could only go in one gear,” said Irving. “I put her in one gear and said just stay in there and do your best. She still did OK despite that — she’s just a fighter.”
Aisha rode in the ability ‘B’ criterium, finishing in ninth for females, just one minute and 50.5 seconds behind the winner.
In the ability ‘C’ criterium, Ava was second, Vollmer third and Mathilde sixth on the female leaderboard.
Buurman and Johna again turned in a strong effort, finishing eighth and 11th among the boys in the ability ‘C’ race.
Racing concluded on May 26 with a road race.
Mara finished the 77-km ability ‘A’ race with a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 59.8 seconds.
Sister Aisha was the fifth female to finish the ability ‘B’ race, just eight minutes and 35 seconds behind the winner.
Fittingly, Johna and Buurman finished with the same time, placing 10th and 11th in the ability ‘C’ race after finishing closely in all earlier races.
Ava finished third of the females in the ability ‘C’ race, choosing to trade a chance at a win to help a teammate.
After Vollmer took a bad fall, Ava stuck around to wait for her and rode with her until they reached medical attention and Vollmer withdrew from the race.
“I was just really proud of Ava for realizing what was the right thing to do,” said Irving about her daughter. “It’s not about recognition, it’s about doing the right thing. I know Tori was very thankful and thanked Ava for staying with her and Ava was really truly concerned about her. I think that takes maturity and vision to know what the right thing to do would be. Yeah it’s a bike race, but what matters more is is your friend OK?”
Vollmer was checked by medical staff and is recovering.
“She’s supposed to race this weekend, but we’ll see what happens,” said Irving, explaining that the health and safety of riders is the top priority.
The Hayman Classic was the first major road race for the Roldan sisters, and Irving said the experience will make a difference when the Western Canada Summer Games arrive in August.
“Mara got warned by a commissaire because she was riding over the yellow line, for example,” said Irving. “I’m glad it happened there and I’m glad she only got a warning because at Western Canada Games, it might not be a warning — it might be a time penalty or a disqualification. That’s why it’s important to go to these Outside races — you have to follow certain rules and take the consequences if you don’t.”
The last of the major Yukon road races, the Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships, start on Thursday evening with a race in Whistle Bend, a criterium in Marwell, the Southern Lakes Yukon Granfondo on June 1 — which will double as a road race in the championships — before concluding with a final time trial race on June 2 on the North Klondike Highway.
Also happening are three mountain bike races as part of Participaction’s Community Better Challenge on May 31, June 3 and June 10.
The May 31 race starts at 4 p.m. at Porter Creek Secondary School while the other two dates start at 4 p.m. at the dog parking lot at Mount McIntyre.
The three races are open to all youth with a mountain bike.
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayman Classic 2019 results
General classification results
‘A’ female results
1 Mara Roldan 5:01:19.8
‘B’ female results
1 Alexandra Volstad 3:38:36.4
2 Anabelle Thomas 3:47:53.6
3 Alisha Lilley 3:49:45.8
6 Aisha Roldan 3:52:47.8
‘C’ male results
1 Aaron Stagg 2:59:08.4
2 Thomas Legg 2:59:09.8
3 Nicky Begley 3:00:07.8
10 Taiga Buurman 3:35:29.1
11 Johna Irving-Staley 3:42:26.3