Will Coleman leads the pack midway through the second stage of the Tour of Juneau bike race on Saturday on Eaglecrest Road. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Will Coleman leads the pack midway through the second stage of the Tour of Juneau bike race on Saturday on Eaglecrest Road. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Coleman captures photo finish at Tour of Juneau

Five complete full tour, at least 40 miles of cycling

Will Coleman bested David Jackson by a little over six minutes to take the Tour of Juneau expert crown on Saturday.

Only 6 inches separated the leaders as they rode into the Auke Recreational Area finish line of the last of four stages, the End of Road Race, a 57-mile ride from the ferry terminal to the end of Glacier Highway and back, nearly causing a collision with a pedestrian as they zoomed past the finish.

“That was probably the most fun I’ve had in a sprint in a long time,” Coleman, who won by a hair, said after the race. “I thought he got me — it was so close.”

Coleman, 30, and Jackson, 21, were two of five cyclists who completed all four stages of the Tour of Juneau, which began Friday with a 2-mile prologue from Mendenhall River Community School to the Juneau Gun Club. The stages (legs) only got longer from there. Saturday began with a 4.5-mile Eaglecrest Road hill climb and continued in the afternoon with a 10-mile time trial between the Shrine of St. Therese and Eagle Beach.

Hiram Henry, Jim Ustasiewski and David Robinson also went the distance, riding in all four stages. Three others, Justin Dorn, Daren Booton and Jennifer Watson, completed three of the four.

Coleman, who finished with an overall time of 3 hours, 23 minutes, 13 seconds, said he was hoping to set course records but wasn’t quite able to do it.

“I did the Eaglecrest Hill Climb earlier this year in 16:34 and I was hoping to match that during the race this year but I didn’t quite have the juice to do it that day,” Coleman said. “I still managed to post the fastest time on that climb in a couple of years.”

Coleman entered Sunday with a five-minute edge on the rest of the competition. But only 45 seconds separated Ustasiewski from Jackson. Jackson would be able to make up that difference and some on the last leg. Almost immediately after the start of Sunday’s race, one of Ustasiewski’s tires went flat and it took about 15 minutes for him to change out his wheel with a spare.

“It would’ve been fun to race all the way with those guys and see what happens,” Ustasiewski said.

Henry, who came in third overall in the final standings, said he was just happy to be done.

“I really liked the time trials, because they’re short and sweet,” he said. “After each race, I was progressively getting more licked, my legs got heavier and heavier. So I guess it’s good that they had the long race at the end. Probably something to be said about pacing myself. I think I put a little too much effort out in the first events.”

Close finishes were a recurring theme at this year’s tour. There was at least one tie in every race but one, the Eaglecrest Hill Climb. It seemed Coleman, who won the second and third stages by over 90 seconds, was the only one immune to a tie. That is, until the last stage.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


David Jackson cleans and oils his bike chain shortly before the second stage of the Tour of Juneau, a 4.5-mile climb up Eaglecrest Road, on Saturday. Jackson traveled to Juneau all the way from Victoria, British Columbia, to participate in this weekend’s series of races. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

David Jackson cleans and oils his bike chain shortly before the second stage of the Tour of Juneau, a 4.5-mile climb up Eaglecrest Road, on Saturday. Jackson traveled to Juneau all the way from Victoria, British Columbia, to participate in this weekend’s series of races. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

A group of cyclists start the 4.5 mile race up Eaglecrest Road on Saturday. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

A group of cyclists start the 4.5 mile race up Eaglecrest Road on Saturday. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Will Coleman, left, is followed by Allan Spangler, David Jackson, Hiram Henry and others near the start of the second stage of the Tour of Juneau up Eaglecrest Road on Saturday. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Will Coleman, left, is followed by Allan Spangler, David Jackson, Hiram Henry and others near the start of the second stage of the Tour of Juneau up Eaglecrest Road on Saturday. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Daren Booton charges up a hill during a steep portion of Eaglecrest Road on Saturday. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Daren Booton charges up a hill during a steep portion of Eaglecrest Road on Saturday. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Will Coleman, right, and Allan Spangler take a breather after finishing the second stage of the Tour of Juneau, a 4.5-mile climb up Eaglecrest Road, on Saturday. Coleman finished first with a time of 17 minutes, 48 seconds, and was followed by Spangler’s 19 minutes, 20 seconds. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

Will Coleman, right, and Allan Spangler take a breather after finishing the second stage of the Tour of Juneau, a 4.5-mile climb up Eaglecrest Road, on Saturday. Coleman finished first with a time of 17 minutes, 48 seconds, and was followed by Spangler’s 19 minutes, 20 seconds. (Richard McGrail | Juneau Empire)

More in Sports

A total of 145 boys from 10 Southeast Alaska high schools dash out from the starting line at the Capital City Invite at A Káx Yaa Andagan Yé (Sandy Beach) on Saturday morning. The 5K race for boys’ and girls’ teams was the region’s largest cross-country race of the season, and final regular season competition before the regional championship in Sitka this weekend. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Many merry after massive muddy meet

Juneau’s cross-country runners and coaches in sunny spirits about chances going into championships

TMHS’ Ashlyn Gates and JDHS’ Mila Hargrave both reach for the ball during the second set of a cross-town volleyball match held at JDHS on Friday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
TMHS wins two cross-town matches

TMHS wins two cross-town matches

A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau cooks up a conference title

Huskies are back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs after lopsided win.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
From left to right, Liz Perry, president and CEO of Travel Juneau; SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium project manager Sierra Gadaire; High Cadence Triathlon team coach Jamie Bursell; and City and Borough of Juneau Finance Director Jeff Rogers met at Juneau Moose Family Center on Thursday afternoon to share a recap of the Ironman Alaska to a full crowd of members of the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce who joined in at the luncheon.
2023 vision: Officials look at the future of Ironman Alaska

They reviewed what went well and what could change for next time.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire
Two-time national champion and Olympic bronze medalist Gracie Gold talks with the Juneau Empire ahead of her upcoming free speech at Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.
Olympian takes time to talk mental health

Bronze medalist, 2-time champ to speak Saturday.

Jarrell Williams (1) and Thomas Baxter (84) celebrate a big play on defense early in Juneau's win over the visiting West Valley Rams. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Huskies get the Rams’ goat under Friday night lights

Juneau remains undefeated on the season.

Most Read