Yukon’s Ava Irving-Staley (far right) rides in the 2018 Hayman Classic stage race. Irving-Staled finished second in all four stages and second overall. (Submitted/Yukon News)

Yukon cyclists race in Hayman Classic

The 2018 Hayman Classic stage race was in Penticton, B.C., on May 25, 26 and 27, and six Yukon cyclists from U Kon Echelon travelled to take part.

The four-stage race consisted of a time trial, a circuit road race, a criterium and a road race.

Ava Irving-Staley finished second in all her races, and earned a second overall finish in the girls U15 category.

Tori Vollmer, competing in the girls U13 category, also placed second in all four stages and second overall.

Other Yukoners competing were Taiga Buurman, Johna Irving-Staley, Veronica Porter and Caius Taggart-Cox.

Porter finished 16th overall in the girls U17 category and Taggart-Cox finished 17th overall in the boys U17 category.

Buurman and Johna Irving-Staley both competed in the boys U13 category which did not have overall standings.

The race started on May 25 with both an 11.4-kilometre time trial and a circuit race.

Following the time trial, Ava Irving-Staley was only seven seconds behind winner Astrid Wuerr despite not having aero bars — handlebars designed to improve aerodynamics for the rider.

Coach Trena Irving-Staley explained in an email that aero bars can make several seconds different in a stage and up to a half minute over the course of an entire race.

Vollmer finished second in the U13 girls time trial, while Buurman and Johna Irving-Staley finished sixth and seventh respectively in the U13 boys time trial.

Porter finished 16th in the U17 girls category and Taggart-Cox was 22nd in the U17 boys category.

After a short break, the racers were back for a circuit race at Area 27, a car racing track.

Vollmer and Ava Irving-Staley both finished second in their respective categories in the circuit race.

In the U13 boys circuit race, Johna Irving-Staley and Taiga Buurman finished fifth and sixth.

Taggart-Cox finished 20th in the U17 boys circuit race and Porter finished 17th in the U17 girls category.

Both U17 and U19 riders raced together, said Trena-Irving-Staley, creating a challenge for racers — especially those in the peloton — because of the wide range in ages.

The next day, riders were back on their bikes for the criterium.

Johna Irving-Staley and Buurman were sixth and eigth respectively in the U13 boys race, Vollmer and Ava Irving-Staley were again second in the U13 girls and U15 girls categories.

Porter and Taggart-Cox were in tough again racing with older riders, but finished 19th and 20th in their respective U17 girls and boys categories.

In the road race on the final day, Johna Irving-Staley and Buurman both suffered time penalties after redoing the hill climb finishing. The two riders finished eighth and ninth in the U13 boys category.

Ava Irving-Staley and Vollmer both finished second in their categories.

Porter finished 18th in the U17 girls category after crashing three laps into the race.

Taggart-Cox was 17th in the U17 boys category.

Trena Irving-Staley said the riders learned a lot and got support from other riders, and that the emphasis was on competing and enjoying the sport.

“Although it’s nice to place, the important thing we all take away from the race is riding with other cyclists from across western Canada and Ontario, making friendships and learning race skills, and pushing our endurance,” she said.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkins-hill@yukon-news.com

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