Royalty of the Canyon 2021 crowns new court

The Contagious Mountain Bike Club hosted the 2021 iteration of its annual Royalty of the Canyon event on Aug. 21 on Riverdale and Grey Mountain mountain bike trails in Whitehorse.

The event featured two different routes – a 25-kilometre loop and a 50-km loop – beginning and ending at the Schwatka Lake boat launch.

Unlike previous years, this year’s race did not end with the usual barbecue and rowdy crowd of spectators due to COVID-19 precautions. This year’s race also allowed riders a 24-hour window to complete the race on their own using Strava or another timing app.

The King of the Canyon and fastest overall 50-km rider was Ian Parker, who finished the race in two hours and 41 minutes to repeat as king.

This year’s Queen of the Canyon was another repeat winner, as Sierra van der Meer finished 50 km in three hours and 16 minutes.

On the shorter loop, Ryan Christian was the Prince of the Canyon with a time of one hour and 53 minutes, and Denise McCann and Andrea Morgan were both crowned Princess of the Canyon with a time of three hours and 58 minutes. Both McCann and Morgan were previous winners in 2018.

The race also showcased the future of the sport in the Yukon, with a trio of teenagers turning in impressive performances. Cole Germain, 16; Mathilde Roldan, 15; and James McCann, 14, all completed the 50-km race and were not far off the winning times.

In the 25-km loop, Nicolas Giangrande, Reid Sandiford, and Herron and Sitka Land Murphy – all younger than 14 – posted competitive times.

Organizer Colin McCann said next year’s event will be a return to form, bringing back the race’s iconic cowbell, barbecue, snacks and music to the finish line.

Next up for the CMBC is the 5+ Hours of Light on Dec. 18, 2021.

A group of riders starts the Royalty of the Canyon mountain bike race at the Schwatka Lake boat launch on a rainy and cool Aug. 21, 2021. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon Sports Report)