Cyclists take off from the start line at the B.C. Masters Lake Cowichan Road Race on Saturday

B.C. Masters returns to Lake Cowichan for annual road race for cyclists

On Aug. 18, cyclists from all over Vancouver Island and B.C. came to Lake Cowichan to participate in an Australian Pursuit style road race.

On Aug. 18, cyclists from all over Vancouver Island and B.C. came to Lake Cowichan to participate in an Australian Pursuit style road race.

This approximate 70 kilometre race started at the end of Lake Park Road where it intersects with Cowichan Lake Road. From there, cyclists made their way to Duncan, looped back along River Bottom Road, and ended at the South Shore Road end of Cowichan Lake Road.

In all, it took an average of two hours to complete.

Peter McCaffery was the officiator, in a volunteer capacity, and he explained that all participants in the race were in the 40 plus age category, and the start for each category is staggered by five minutes, allowing the 70-79 age category to start first.

He says the Australian Pursuit “is the best way of running multi-age group events.”

Many of the participants have at one time participated in major events, such as the Olympics or World Championships, but still enjoy riding. Though some of them only began cycling when they were in their mid 40s.

Dave Steen, one of the organizers of the event, was once a shot putter, but trimmed down his weight in order to become a cyclist.

“He’s more of a time trialist,” said McCaffery, adding that Steen would rather not deal with changing gears and altering road conditions.

The Mid Island Velo Association, which organizes the event, was started by Tony Hoar. Hoar participated in the Tour de France in 1956 on the first British team since WWII.

The association puts on 50 events a year, most of which fall into the 70 km category, and are in the Nanaimo area.

Derek Tripp was this years overall winner, followed by Ian Smith, Peter Stevenson, Bill Yearwood (another of the events organizers), and Roy Quade.

 

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