SPORTS: Cycling road race challenged the masters

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
July 29th, 2010

Riders from their mid-30’s to 76, including five women age 39 to 68, came from as far as Vancouver, Comox, Victoria, Calgary, and Whitehorse to participate in last week’s Masters Race sponsored by the Grand Forks Cycling Club. The three-day event started on Friday evening with a hill climb time trial, continued Saturday with the 40 kilometre (km) time trial, and finished with the longer 74 km road race on Sunday.   “The (74 km road race) went off really well with the unfortunate exception of a crash resulting in a broken collar bone, but as they say, if you race long enough sooner or later you’ll ‘touch’ the pavement,” said race organizer Murray Behl. “I’ve had my share and it’s not fun but it won’t keep me from racing. The response of the cyclist that crashed was typical. They took the blame for the fall and complained that it will really interfere with the rest of their racing season.”    Olav Stana, age 55, of Vernon was the winner of the Friday evening hill climb up Hardy Mountain Road to Saddle Lake. Local rider Astrid Kihl was the overall leading woman in the climb, but all the women were in different age classifications.   Stana also won the Saturday morning 40 km (25 mile) individual time trial on the North Fork and Brown Creek Roads in a time of 53 minutes 51 seconds. The winner on age standard was Mike McCann, age 63, of Whitehorse with an actual time of 57 minutes 48 seconds. For the two women who competed, Carol Chester was the fastest and placed 28 overall.   The Sunday morning road race up the North Fork road, down Granby Road and back, went to Derek Tripp, age 60, a fish and wildlife biologist from Victoria. The road race was an Australian pursuit style start in 10-year age groups with the oldest first. A group of four in the 60 age group broke away from the others about half-way and was never caught by the younger riders. Carol Chester again was the leading woman and came in 30 overall.   A classy touch to the road race was the vintage police Harley Davidson that followed the race as sweep-up vehicle. Not only do the racers come for the weekend, but many bring their partners to make a holiday of it in the area.   The Grand Forks Cycling Club for the annual weekend cycle race extends it’s thanks to the businesses and community organizations who provided prizes and food donations. Event headquarters for the races was at Hutton Elementary School and the races took in the beauty of the North Fork and Granby River valleys.   The Grand Forks Masters Race weekend is co-sponsored by the B.C. Masters Cycling Association. The Grand Forks Cycling Club always welcomes riders of all ages and abilities.   Results are posted at: Grand Forks Cycling Club  

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