Men’s 55+ 2016 Year-in-review
Contributor: Tom Lyons
Back in the 70’s there was a “running boom” where everyone started jogging. Those youngsters are now our elders in the world of rec-league cycling. They can certainly claim some responsibility for the wave of popularity in the 55+ cycling races. As we know, many of these cyclists are just injured runners who needed to find another thing to do – trading overuse injuries for high impact ones. In the past couple years, the fields of 55+ races have increased dramatically and so has the speed and competition. TB has a small, tough group of guys who race frequently with the attitude of “attack from the gun.” I’ll recap the 55/65 team below (results taken from USAC):
The NCNCA race calendar goes from the New Year’s Day San Bruno Hill Climb all the way through the end of September. So why not get going a few hours into the year by taking the 65+ race at San Bruno? Following that opening act, TB headed to Pine Flat to tune up for Chico with a win in the 55+ above the hills of Fresno. Two stage races were targeted for the early spring – Chico and Tucson. With a great team gathering of 45’s and 55’s at one house in Chico, ThirstyBear was all pro. Attack after attack resulted in a road race win and second on GC. The RD combined the 45 and 55 fields for the crit. With around 80 guys circling the town, it was quite a sight to see both 45 and 55 yellow jerseys on the backs of TB riders with many teammates guiding them through. A trip to the Arizona desert resulted in 1-3 in the GC and a win in the TT there. The guys were rolling again as March closed out going 1-3 at Copperopolis.
The boys headed to the highly competitive Sea Otter Classic with a huge team result of 1-3-4 at the circuit race. Wente had a rare 65+ race (more of these are coming we hope). TB took that one and then it was off to nationals for the club. With a strong TB presence in the road race, the attacks were on from the gun and true to form, our boys made the race. A well deserved 2nd on the nationals road race podium was the highlight of the weekend for the club. Back at home, TB snagged the Mt Hamilton 55+ race.
The 65+ NCNCA Hill Climb jersey was brought home at Mt Diablo in June while the 55+ took it’s only crit victory of the year at Colavita in July. The club earned it’s only NCNCA District Road Race jersey in the 65+ at San Ardo in August.
108 races between 5 guys…
29 podiums (top-3)…
Nationals Podium – 2nd 55+ RR
NCNCA Champions – 65+ HC; 65+ RR
Stage Race GC – Tucson 55+
Brian McAndrews, Alan Roberts, Hans Gouwens, Joseph Lemire, Max Thompson
Lance Haag ages up to the 55’s and the club welcomes two new additions: Joseph Foster, and Jerome Nadel.