'Largest turnout...in years'

Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010

It was the perfect weekend for Juneau cyclists to get out on their bikes, and participation in the 2010 Tour of Juneau clearly showed that they did.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Competitors turned out in droves for this year's event, and race co-director Tara Jeans said the turnout was better than it has been in recent memory.

"The number of women participating tripled that of last year's race," she said. "And the number of people on the short course was double, probably because of the nice weather."

John Bursell won the men's long course race with an overall time of 2:39:16, while Janice Sheufelt won the women's side with a total time of 2:56:44.

Stage 4 of the three-day, four-stage race was divided into a short course - approximately 26 miles - and a long course - approximately 52 miles.

Of those who chose to race the short course, Rick Boston won with a three-day total of 1:59:30, and Cathy Tide's 2:43:02 was the winning time for the women.

Jeans said the weather has typically been rainy and windy at the time of the race each year, but this time the temperatures were perfect.

But Bursell, a multiple winner of the event, said the warm days did not affect the riders' times very much, if at all.

"It was beautiful out there, but I don't think it affected most of the race," he said. "The time trial times may have been a little faster because it was warmer, but otherwise I don't think the tactics were affected at all."

Overall, Bursell said, it was a good weekend to go out and race.

"It was just fun to be out racing," he said. "We had a great turnout, the weather was beautiful - it was just a good weekend to be out on a bike."

The race took place in four stages beginning Friday and ending Sunday. The first stage was a new stage, the Prologue Back Loop. This was a 2.04-mile time trial which started at the Mendenhall River bridge and ended at the shooting range after a turn on Montana Creek road.

Saturday started with a 20K time trial that began on North Douglas at the Eaglecrest turn-off with riders cycling to the end of the North Douglas road and back to the starting line, which doubled as the finish.

That was followed by Stage 3, a 4.5-mile sprint up Eaglecrest road to the ski area parking lot, on Saturday afternoon.

The Tour culminated in the End of the Road Race on Sunday morning.

"It was the largest turnout I've seen in years," Jeans said. "We even had a 5-year-old on the first stage, and that was awesome."

Check Tuesday's sports section for more pictures from Sunday and full results from each stage on both the women's and men's sides.

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