Three years ago, Whitehorse’s Mike McCann was the overall cycling champion in the 55-59 age group.
Now, a few years older with many more kilometres under his wheels, he’s done it again, winning the 60-64 division last week at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Saint George, Utah.
“To be totally objective, it could have been any one of the three of us at the end,” said McCann. “There were some very strong people in the field and if one of them had a better ride, let’s say in the time trial or the hill climb, the results could have been different.”
On Friday, in a 62-kilometre race, MCann secured the top-spot in his division with a third-place finish in a sprint to the finish with four other riders from his age-class, all registering the time of one hour, 45 minutes and 29 seconds.
For the event organizers mixed in two younger age groups, which meant McCann had to pay closer attention to where riders in his division were, especially Gary Minor of Washington, who was only four points behind McCann going into the race.
“It made it a totally different race from what it would have been,” said McCann. “If some of the younger riders attacked and Gary was able to go with them, but I missed that break, I would have been hooped.”
In the days leading up to Friday’s race, McCann had already won two gold medals in the five-kilometre hill climb on Tuesday and in the 40-kilometre individual time trial on Wednesday.
McCann then gave up some of his lead in the points sheet with a fourth place finish in the criterium (a closed course race with lots of short laps) on Thursday, giving up positioning with a bad line going into the final turn.
“It’s about as good as I can expect to do in a criterium,” said McCann in an interview following the race on Thursday. “You have to have sprinter’s legs to win that thing and I don’t.”
Had the overall standings been based on accumulated time, McCann would have gone into the final race with a much more comfortable lead, but the points system kept it close.
“If they used an accumulated time, it would not have been close because I gained a substantial amount in the time trial,” said McCann. “So for the final road race there was only four points separating Gary and myself and I had to watch where he was and, basically, make sure that if he was ahead of me there was no one in between us.
“If Gary was second, I had to be third (to win overall).”
Last year in the same division, McCann won three medals with a silver in the hill climb and bronzes in the road races. He also finished fourth in the criterium.
This year was his tenth time competing at the Games.
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