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RACING NEW GROUND – David Jackson (front left) races in the Robert Cameron Cycling Classic last weekend on Vancouver Island. Jackson was nominated to the Yukon’s Canada Summer Games Cycling team this week. Photo courtesy of DAVID JACKSON

David Jackson gains racing experience at Vancouver Island stage race

A young Whitehorse cyclist has accomplished his goal of qualifying for the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

By Marissa Tiel on June 9, 2017

A young Whitehorse cyclist has accomplished his goal of qualifying for the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

David Jackson, received word Wednesday that he had been nominated to the Yukon’s cycling team for this summer’s Games.

The nomination comes after a tough week of stage racing on Vancouver Island alongside former Yukoner Elijah Buffalo and gaining more race experience.

The 20-year-old’s best result of the weekend came during a club time trial – his self-described best discipline – outside of Victoria.

After a “relaxing” ferry ride, Jackson met up with Buffalo at the ferry terminal in Nanaimo and they travelled to the event together.

In the 15K event, Jackson came third.

“It was fun,” he said.

They were early to bed that night as Friday’s wake-up call came bright and early at 4:30 a.m.

The duo warmed up on stationary trainers in their kit as Jackson prepared for the first stage of the Robert Cameron Cycling Series: the Energylab Sprint Time Trial.

Jackson had a smooth start and said he felt like he’d accomplished a goal after he finished. He placed 16 out of 24.

The Schwalbe Cycling Classic road race was the second stage of the weekend.

The 70K event had riders cycling 10 loops of a gruelling up and down course.

At the mass start, Jackson had mechanical trouble – his chain dropped – and he lost 20 seconds sorting it out while the lead group got farther and farther away.

He didn’t let it defeat him.

“I just thought, ‘OK, now I have to try and chase these guys down,’” he said. “I felt pretty strong for the first couple laps and then as it progressed, it got more tricky just because of that climb.”

While Jackson ended up with a DNF – he was lapped after five times around – he opted to complete the course and did so in around 2 1/2 hours.

He said due to the hills, it was “probably the hardest road race I’ve done yet.”

The Russ Hays Grand Prix criterium was the final stage of the weekend.

Jackson was lapped and received a DNF.

With the valuable racing experience he gained on Vancouver Island, he said he feels more confident in his riding.

The confidence showed Wednesday evening as he shaved 30 more seconds off his U Kon Echelon time trial time.

With his nomination to the Canada Summer Games team, Jackson said that his summer training is just starting and plans to ramp it up before the quadrennial competition.

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