If today’s final stage of the Tour Of Juneau, starting at Auke Rec, is any indication of the athleticism shown by riders in the first three stages, than viewing fans will be sweating buckets of Gatorade just watching the 52-mile long course or 31-mile short course that tests the resolve of all race riders.
In just minutes on Friday the Tour Of Juneau cycling race established itself as an enthusiastic and competitive race.
One minute and 52 seconds to be exact.
That was the top time set by Whitehorse rider Troy Henry in the one-mile prologue sprint from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center out Glacier Spur Road.
Henry’s wicked fast prologue time just edged local biker John Bursell by five seconds.
Whitehorse riders brought down some pedal power as Melainie Tait topped the women’s mile sprint in 2:17.0, edging out local extreme biker Janice Sheufelt at 2:21.0.
On Saturday morning the climbers were expected to make up some ground on the leaders, but it appeared the sprint leaders still packed a ton of pedal pressure on the hills.
Henry and Bursell dueled down to a one second crossing, 17:41 to 17:42, with Robert Sowers drafting off their sprint for third in 17:50.0. That narrowed the overall leader’s jersey to just tenths of a second. Henry at 19:33, Bursell at 19:36 and Sowers with 20:02, and Brian Smith, Forest Bowers, Dan Robinson, Richard Forst and 60-year-old Mike McCann just a second off the pace.
Sheufelt showed that her recent 500-plus Race Across Oregon provided the hill training needed and she overtook Tait by nearly four minutes, finishing the 4.5-mile climb in 19:41.0 to Tait’s 23:13.0 and claiming the overall lead for women heading into the late afternoon’s time trial.
Saturday’s stage three North Douglas Time Trial shook up the field a bit with 13.4 miles of overcast pedaling. Sheufelt again blasted through the trial with a 34:35, betting Tait’s 36:59 and recent Auke Woman winner, and record setter, Jamie Bursell’s 37:39. John Bursell and Troy Henry finished tied for the day with a time of 30:24. Only a five-second difference, obtained in the prologue, seperates the two riders in the overall standings. Both riders bettered 30 miles-per-hour in that prologue. Bursell is an avid biker, triathlete and has competed in the Hawaian Iron Man. Henry is a cat 2 rider from the Yukon who races nationally in Canada. The two will settle their duel today in the nearly 60-mile long course (start time 10 a.m. at ferry terminal). A 10-second winning sprint bonus may decide the winner of the Tour of Juneau for these two, but anything can happen and the field will be packed with riders looking to improve their times and to capture a stage win.
Today’s final Stage 4 begins with registration at 9 a.m. at Auke Rec near the main cabin, mid-way in Auke Rec. The race begins with a rolling start at 10 a.m. on Glacier Highway heading north from the Auke Bay ferry terminal. Riders will turn around at Eagle Beach, turn right on Auke Rec Old Highway and continue to totem pole. Long course riders will do laps on Auke Rec loop. No Aerobars allowed. New riders are encouraged to sign up for today’s racing action and join the Tour in progress.
Tour of Juneau, Stage 1, Prologue Results
Females: Melanie Tait 02:17.0; Janice Sheufelt 02:21.0; Brandi Gerke 02:25.0; Treena Irving 02:28.0; Alicia Jones 02:29.0; Jamie Bursell 02:33.0; Melanie White 02:38.0; Cathy Tide 02:41.0; Jennifer Watson 02:44.0; Sandra Woods 02:53.0.
Male: Troy Henry 01:52.0; John Bursell 01:57.0; Mike McCann 02:10.0; Mark Neidhold 02:11.0; Rob Sowers 02:12.0; Brian Smith 02:14.0; Dan Robinson 02:15.0; Richard Forst 02:18.0; Forest Bowers 02:18.0; Bill Curtis 02:22.0; Reed Stoops 02:22.0; Noble Anderson 02:23.0; Greg Huebschen 02:23.0; Layrd Oliff 02:23.0; Jim Ustasiewski 02:25.0.
Hand cyclists: Darryl Tait 02:58.0.
Youth-male: Shea Hoffman 02:23.0; Bryce Lemphers 02:36.0; Matthew Knaack 02:37.0.
Youth-female: Tanicka Reeves 03:14.0; Ava Irving-Staley 04:15.0.
Tour Of Juneau, Stage 2, Eaglecrest Hill Climb Results
Female: Janice Sheufelt 19:41.0; Melanie Tait 23:13.0; Treena Irving 23:16.0; Jamie Bursell 23:33.0; Brandi Gerke 25:08.0; Alysia Jones 25:08.0; Jennifer Watson 26:23.0; Melanie White 26:26.0; Cathy Tide 27:11.0; Sandra Woods 28:44.0.
Male: Troy Henry 17:41.0; John Bursell 17:42.0; Rob Sowers 17:50.0; Brian Smith 19:24.0; Forest Bowers 19:30.0; Richard Forst 19:55.0; Dan Robinson 19:56.0; Mike McCann 20:46.0; Layrd Oliff 20:50.0; Reed Stoops 20:55.0; Jim Ustasiewski 20:56.0; Mark Neidhold 21:57.0; Greg Huebschen 22:06.0; Max Rule 22:25.0; Noble Anderson 23:02.0; Bill Curtis 25:42.0.
Youth-male: Shea Hoffman 22:50.0; Bryce Lemphers 22:55.0; Matthew Knaack 22:56.0.
Youth-female: Tanicka Reeves 40:25.0.
Hand cyclist/youth under 10 (2 mile course): Darryl Tait 11:11.0; Ava Irving-Staley 15:13.0.
Tour Of Juneau, Stage 3, North Douglas Time Trial Results
Female: Janice Sheufelt 34:35.0; Melanie Tait 36:59.0; Jamie Bursell 37:39.0; Treena Irving 37:46.0; Brandi Gerke 38:30.0; Melanie White 41:14.0; Alysia Jones 41:18.0; Jennifer Watson 42:49.0; Cathy Tide 43:01.0; Sandra Woods 45:49.0.
Youth female: Tanicka Reeves 52:50.0
Male: Troy Henry 30:24.0; John Bursell 30:24.0; Rob Sowers 31:51.0; Mike McCann 32:41.0; Forest Bowers 33:43.0; John McConnochie 33:56.0; Brian Smith 34:45.0; Reed Stoops 34:45.0; Jim Ustasiewski 35:33.0; Dan Robinson 35:44.0; Mark Neidhold 36:31.0; Bill Curtis 37:26.0; Layrd Oliff 38:30.0; Noble Anderson 38:43.0; Max Rule 39:36.0; Richard Forst DNF.
Male Youth: Shea Hoffman 36:37.0; Bryce Lemphers 40:42.0; Matthew Knaack 45:46.0.
Hand-cyclist: Darryl Tait 24:59 (6 miles).
Overall Standings after Two Stages (name, sex, time), does not include Saturday time trial: Troy Henry M 0:19:33; John Bursell M 0:19:39; Rob Sowers M 0:20:02; Brian Smith M 0:21:38; Forest Bowers M 0:21:48; Janice Sheufelt F 0:22:02; Dan Robinson M 0:22:11; Richard Forst M 0:22:13; Mike McCann M 0:22:56; Layrd Oliff M 0:23:13; Reed Stoops M 0:23:17; Jim Ustasiewski M 0:23:21; Mark Neidhold M 0:24:08; Greg Huebschen M 0:24:29; Shea Hoffman Y 0:25:13; Noble Anderson M 0:25:25; Melanie Tait F 0:25:30; Bryce Lemphers Y 0:25:31; Matthew Knaack Y 0:25:33; Treena Irving F 0:25:44; Jamie Bursell F 0:26:06; Brandi Gerke F 0:27:33; Alicia Jones F 0:27:37; Bill Curtis M 0:28:04; Melanie White F 0:29:04; Jennifer Watson F 0:29:07; Cathy Tide F 0:29:52; Sandra Woods F 0:31:37; Tanicka Reeves Y 0:43:39; Ava Irving-Staley Y u10 0:19:28; Maxwell Rule M; hand cyclists Darryl Tait HC 0:14:09.