Bursell Sheufelt win Tour de Whitehorse

Juneauites take men's and women's expert titles

Posted: Thursday, August 03, 2006

John Bursell and Janice Sheufelt won the Tour de Whitehorse last weekend in the men's and women's expert divisions around the Yukon capital.

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Racing in the men's expert class consists of three stages including a 2-kilometer hill climb, a 33.5-kilometer time trial, and a 90-kilometer road race.

Bursell bested the 12-man field in the men's expert class with a combined time of 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 57 seconds over the three stages. The Juneau resident's time was nearly a minute and a half better than second-place finisher Glen Iceton, of Whitehorse.

Heading into the road race, Bursell trailed 59-year-old leader Mike McCann, of Whitehorse, by 21 seconds.

"McCann had a great time trial, but the 33.5-kilometer race took a lot out of him," Bursell said. "So we were actually more concerned about Iceton who was behind us in third."

With fellow Southeast riders Robert Sowers, of Juneau, and Dan Kelliher, of Sitka, Bursell used a team approach in the road race to more than make up the 21-second deficit.

"It was critical to have strong riders like Robert and Dan to keep me fresh for the end. Dan in particular really pulled me along for about four or five miles near the end," Bursell said.

Road racing as a team means that riders will draft, or follow, one another tightly to cut down on the air resistance. This keeps the riders in back fresher. The riders work on a rotation that keeps the freshest legs in the front as often as possible.

All three riders will be competing in this weekend's Tour of Juneau bike race.

The women's expert division follows the same format as the men's, except the road race section is 80 kilometers. Sheufelt beat out two other women to win her division with a time of 3 hours, 27 minutes, and 30 seconds.

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