Yukon cyclists post strongest finishes on mountain bikes

Considering the world-class mountain bike trails the territory has to offer, it should be no surprise Yukon cyclists would secure their best results off road at the Western Canada Summer Games.

Considering the world-class mountain bike trails the territory has to offer, it should be no surprise Yukon cyclists would secure their best results off road at the Western Canada Summer Games.

All three members of Yukon’s cycling team notched their highest finishes in mountain bike events this week in Fort McMurray, Alta.

“They learned a lot and, yeah, our kids have some good mountain bike skills, that’s for sure,” said Team Yukon cycling coach Trena Irving.

Whitehorse’s Sara Burke-Forsyth posted the highest finish for the team. The 19-year-old took 11th in the cross-country mountain bike race on Tuesday, 33 seconds from a top-10 finish.

“That’s pretty good – that’s almost top 10 – for somebody who has never competed at that level before,” said Irving. “Just to give an example of the calibre, the girl who came first – her name is Emily (Handford) – is going to the worlds next year.

“It’s great to see that level of competition, but at the same time, our athletes aren’t quite at that level yet.”

On Monday Burke-Forsyth took 15th in the mountain bike eliminator, in which cyclists advance through a series heats on a short course, much like in snowboardcross.

Burke-Forsyth began the Games with 13th in the time trial on Saturday and 14th in the road race on Sunday.

Those results placed her at 14th in the general classification out of 19 cyclists. (Twenty female cyclists started the Games before a Saskatchewan cyclist withdrew following a bad crash in the time trial.)

Burke-Forsyth was joined by male teammates Shea Hoffman and Ian Hansen.

Hoffman, who is the most veteran athlete on Team Yukon with now eight major Games under his belt, produced his best finish in the eliminator with 13th.

“Shea won one of his heats, so that was exciting, and Ian and Sarah came second in one of theirs,” said Irving.

Hoffman, 20, also came 17th in the cross-country race, 17th in the time trial and 20th in the road race.

Hansen raced to 17th in the eliminator, 19th in the cross-country race, 20th in the road race – tying Hoffman – and 21st in the time trial.

“That was his first time Outside racing at that level and he didn’t have a time trial bike and lots of kids did, and that gives you a two- or three-minute advantage,” said Irving.

At the end of competition on Tuesday, Hoffman placed 19th and Hansen 20th out of 22 riders in the general classification.

Getting dropped by the pack on the first hill of the road race had a large effect on their eventual GC standings, said Irving.

“Both boys got spit off in the road race … the road race was intense,” said Irving. “They got dropped on the first hill and they worked like heck to power up and not lose that group. The group split into two, like I knew it would, and by not getting on that second group they did not have a chance to be in a group and that’s why they were gapped by half an hour.

“They worked together the whole race … which was beautiful.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read