Judging from the results of the cycling events at the Western Canada Summer Games last week, there’s little question where the Yukon cyclists’ strength lies.
Three of the four Yukon cyclists had their best finishes in the mountain bike race to wrap up the Games on Sunday.
In fact, Spencer Skerget rode the trails to a 10th-place finish out of 23 competitors and Yukon’s strongest result for the cycling events.
“I’m happy with that,” said the 18-year-old. “It wasn’t terribly long and I didn’t find the course too technical, which I kind of expected, given the terrain here.
“I thought it went pretty well for me. I don’t think I could have done much better, so I’m pretty happy with my performance.
“I’ve done quite a few more mountain bike races than I have road races.”
Teammate William Thomson also produced a strong result, finishing in 17th. Thomson was the last rider to be lapped by the leader, thereby forced out of the race.
“Some of our guys are really good technical mountain bikers and I think they were hoping for a course that would be a little more difficult, that would maybe favour them a bit more,” said Yukon head coach Anthony Delorenzo. “But, overall, I thought it was a good course.”
Yukon’s Olivia Findlay, cycling in the female division, also moved up a few spots for her best results, coming 16th out of 19. Shea Hoffman moved up to 21st on Sunday, one spot better than his finishes in Thursday’s time trial and Friday’s road race.
“All our (cyclists) are new to competition for cycling,” said Delorenzo. “For us, it has been a real building year and we’re real happy with how it turned out. Our results are great when you consider where we are starting from and I think, looking ahead a couple years, we have a lot to look forward to.
“We have some riders that are young and showing a lot of promise and they really just improved a lot this year.
“We’re always looking for more athletes, too. We didn’t bring a full team to these Games.”
Out of the four Yukon cyclists, Hoffman had the most major Games experience going to Kamloops, having represented the territory in speed skating at last year’s Arctic Winter Games and the Canada Winter Games in February.
However, Skerget hopes to add to his resume as a member of Team Yukon in the next Canada Summer Games in 2013.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Skerget. “It’s too bad there weren’t more of us here.
“(Canada Games) was one thing in the back of my head, but I wanted to see how this went before I made a decision. But I think, for sure, I’m going to try to stick with it for the next two years and go to the Canada Games.”
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