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GRITTY PERFORMANCE – David Jackson, pictured here competing in Tuesday’s time trial, suited up for the gruelling 120K road race today at the Canada Summer Games. Photo by ANTHONY FERNANDO/2017 CANADA SUMMER GAMES

Yukon cyclist takes on big challenge at Canada Summer Games

David Jackson was feeling calm ahead of this morning’s road race mass start.

By Marissa Tiel on August 10, 2017

Lone Yukoner David Jackson races 120K road race at Birds Hill Provincial Park today

David Jackson was feeling calm ahead of this morning’s road race mass start.

The 20-year-old, who is the Yukon’s only athlete competing in cycling, suited up against 48 other riders for the gruelling 120-kilometre road race at Birds Hill Provincial Park, about 24 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

It’s the second race for the men at the Canada Summer Games.

Jackson competed in the time trial Tuesday, racing the clock to a 48th-place finish, seven minutes and 41 seconds off of first place.

“I thought the time trial went well,” he said Wednesday afternoon after a training ride.

His coach, Trena Irving, was following in the support vehicle. She said the strongest part of his race was his start. She said he was going about 52km/h and averaged 37km/h through the race.

“He looked fast and furious,” she said.

Wednesday afternoon, Jackson, Irving and technical support Dean Eyre went out on a training ride on the road course.

Through the driving rain, Jackson practised a few sprints to get his legs fired up again.

“My legs are feeling alright today,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

In addition to the ride Wednesday, Jackson and his support team also drove the course and he knew what to expect.

The 120K race saw riders do six laps of a 20K course.

He wasn’t worried about the mass start, which saw more than 40 riders converge on the same space. His plan was to not be too close to the front and not too close to the back, instead finding the Goldilocks spot in the middle of the pack.

The road race is a team strategy event, but without any teammates, Jackson had to fend for himself. He thought he may be able to ride with some of Team Saskatchewan, who he has spent time with in the past.

As the results came in this morning, Jackson showed a DNF.

Irving could not be reached for comment.

Two other riders also did not finish.

Jackson was named to Team Yukon on June 7, after meeting fitness and race-readiness standards set out by the territory’s cycling body.

He spent all winter on a trainer in his home, rolling out miles while watching Rocky movies. He also worked with a personal trainer to develop strength.

Earlier this season, Jackson was one of the top male riders at the Yukon Cycling Championships and won all three stages at the Tour de Haines Junction.

As the territory’s only cyclist at the Canada Games, he is the sole focus of Irving and Eyre – Cadence Cycle’s owner who has been a major sponsor of Jackson’s.

“It’s just an absolute pleasure to have Dean here,” said Irving. “We can give David all of our attention.”

With the road race wrapped up, attention now shifts to Saturday’s criterium.

“I’m expecting it to be quite fast and somewhat intense,” said Jackson.

His final event will begin Saturday at 6 p.m. local time at Winnipeg’s Red River Exhibition Park.

Comments (1)

Up 1 Down 0

Simon on Aug 12, 2017 at 8:04 am

Great work, David! Stay focused and have fun.

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