Yukon Games cyclist grabs experience in Saskatoon

Whitehorse's Melanie Tait is in only her second season of competitive road cycling. But her lack of experience is not easy to spot.

Whitehorse’s Melanie Tait is in only her second season of competitive road cycling.

But her lack of experience is not easy to spot.

“When I was talking to the Saskatchewan coach, he was asking about my training because he was impressed with my time trial time,” said Tait. “I told him I have only been racing for a year and he was impressed.”

Tait raced to fifth in the open women division of the 23rd annual Bikes on Broadway in Saskatoon, Sask., over the weekend.

The three-stage event was great experience for the Canada Summer Games this August in Sherbrooke, Quebec, said the 21-year-old.

“There was really good competition there and it was fun because I’ll definitely be seeing some of the girls at the Canada Summer Games,” said Tait. “So it was nice to know I will be right in there with some of the girls, competition-wise.”

Tait opened the stage-race with her best result, taking third in the 8.5-kilometre time trial. She then placed fourth in a 90-kilometre road race and fifth in a criterium in downtown Saskatoon on Monday.

“Right now my favourite to do is the time trial,” said Tait. “I’m really happy with the result, coming third right below the second place (cyclist). I was surprised when I found out about that one.”

Tait is a member of U Kon Echelon, a Whitehorse-based developmental club for all ages and abilities that is also in its second season.

However, she is currently training with Alberta’s Bicisport Calgary Cycling Club.

Tait, who won the sport women division of the Tour of Juneau last August, will be competing at the Pigeon Lake Provincial Road Championships this weekend.

“It’s a good experience for me to go to these races so I know what’s going on when I get to Canada Games. I can enjoy the Games more that way, not worrying about all the details I’ll be familiar with having gone to these other races.”

The U Kon Echlon club hosted the Skagway Hill Climb Time Trial, an event held by Yukon’s VeloNorth Cycling Club in the past, on Sunday.

Nine cyclists competed in the 19-kilometre time trial race from Skagway to the White Pass Summit, climbing roughly 1,000-metres in altitude.

Spencer Morgan took first with a time of 56 minutes and 55 seconds, a little over five minutes from the course record.

Shea Hoffman, another cyclist that has signed on to represent the territory at the Canada Games this summer, placed second at 1:06:37.

Morgan won the sport men division of last year’s Skagway race with Hoffman in second. Morgan shaved over 14 minutes off his 2012 time while Hoffman cut just under 10 minutes off his.

Micah Taggart-Cox came third overall with a time of 1:28:54.

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