Col Maciver – Champion of Champions!

Col Maciver competed in the National Masters Championships held in Canberra from September 30 to October 5. He was the most successful rider in his age group, winning the Champion of Champions jersey after placing first in the road race, second in the criterium, and third in the time trial. Following on from his NSW titles earlier this year, this is a great achievement for Col and a just reward for his dedication and hard work. I’m sure all in the club join will join me in congratulating Col and wishing him well in the upcoming World Masters Games in Sydney in a couple of weeks time.

Andrew Swan

Col’s report on the races is included below:

I competed in the Men’s Masters 8 Division (65 to 70 years of age). We’re getting a bit long in the tooth but very competitive nevertheless.

Three events were contested – Individual Time Trial, Road Race and Criterium.

The first event, the ITT was run over an undulation 20 Km in windy conditions. The time trial as the name suggests is a timed event with riders riding solo. I didn’t have a good ride, misjudging the difficulty of the return leg which was mostly uphill ( I didn’t allow for the following wind) and I had too much energy left in the tank at the finish. You should finish a time trial absolutely spent – sounds like good fun doesn’t it! However, I still managed to win the bronze medal behind Chas Matters from Queensland and Denis Fahey from Sydney, both noted time trialists.

The next event, which was my targeted event, was the road race over a very tough (hilly) 42 kms. As my best results usually come over tough courses, I rode hard on the first big hill and managed to reduced the group on the front to four riders. As one of the remaining four riders was Keith Oliver from Sydney who is a noted rider on the world stage (more as a track rider with a fierce finishing sprint) I tried really hard on the remaining big hills with the help of Chas Matters to drop Keith. However, he rode really strongly and stayed with us over all the big hills but eventually cracked on one of the smaller hills on the run to the finish so Chas and I were left to fight out the finish. The finish was contested on a lap of the Stephen Hodge Criterium Circuit at the Mt Stromlo Forest Park, the venue for the recent World Mountain Bike Championships. By the time we got to the circuit, I could sense that Chas was starting to suffer a bit so I attacked early and I was able to win the sprint by a decent margin. Keith Oliver came in 3rd about one minute behind us.

The last event, the criterium was held on the Stephen Hodge criterium circuit and was contested over 30 minutes plus 3 laps. With Keith Oliver in the field I knew that we would have to make the pace hard to try to take the sting out of Keith’s finishing sprint. Chas Matters and I endeavoured to do that by swapping turns and making surges with the rest of the field essentially following our wheels. Keith responded to every move, seemingly without effort and by the time the bell was rung for the last lap there was still a field of 6 in contention. Knowing that I had no chance against Keith in a short explosive sprint, I went to the front early on the last lap and started to slowly wind up the pace to make it a long sustained sprint through the bottom corners and to get the best line out of the last corner at my maximum speed. I hit my max effort coming out of the last corner and went for it down the finishing straight. Keith, the crafty track rider that he is, had got on my wheel (he did admit afterwards that it took just about everything he had to do that and stay there) and in the last few metres came off my wheel and piped me by 3/100ths of a second. It was close. I didn’t know he was there until the last couple of seconds – too late to try to respond. Hugh Gray from Sydney got the bronze medal with Chas Matters coming in fourth.

To top the competition off for me, over the three events I managed to get enough points to win the champion of champions jersey for my age division, a first for me.

Next week I will be competing in the World Masters Games in Sydney but I do not have high hopes for good results as the venue for the ITTs and Road Races, the Eastern Creek Motor Racing Circuit, is not very tough and will undoubtedly be a sprinters venue. Nevertheless, I will be giving it my best shot.