When asked what’s his secret to staying competitive in cycling, Whitehorse’s Mike McCann keeps it simple.
“Just steady training,” he said.
McCann, who cycles for the Yukon’s VeloNorth Club, has had a good start to a series of BC Masters races. Last weekend in the Grand Forks Masters Weekend cycling event, McCann won two out of three races for the 60-64 age division.
“Getting used to the heat has been a bit of a challenge, but I have to say it’s been quite enjoyable,” said McCann. “Stepping out into 34-degree weather has been a change – it was as high as 38 one day.”
Beginning with a 4.4-kilometre hill climb time trial a week ago, McCann won his division and produced the sixth-fastest time overall in a field of more than 30 cyclists. The following day in a 40-kilometre individual time trail, McCann repeated the results.
“I was pleased with the hill climb, in terms of how it went,” said McCann. “The time trial was probably the better race.”
Not only did McCann outpace the competition in the 40-kilometre race, he outpaced expectations. For his results McCann was awarded a prize for exceeding the standard time for a race that length – for his age group – by 19 minutes, more than any other cyclist from any age division.
It was only on the third day of cycling when McCann’s efforts were surpassed by others. In a 75-kilometre road race, McCann was dropped by the lead pack with 30 kilometres to go, eventually finishing fourth.
“I think it was a combination of not having raced a lot this year,” said McCann.
“The road race was the first long race I’ve had the opportunity to get into and there were some pretty tough riders in the group. And it was hot; it was like 34 Celsius. After about 40 kilometres of some pretty tough accelerations, the legs were feeling it, especially after two days of racing.”
No overall results were tabulated for the three-day event.
McCann is now in Salmon Arm for more BC Masters races, doing a 40-kilometre time trial on Sunday and a 70-kilometre road race on Monday.
“Hopefully that will go better than the last one,” said McCann of the road race.
From there he is travelling to Nanaimo for some more races.
Last year, McCann was the overall cycling champion in the 60-64 age division at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Saint George, Utah. For the title, McCann was first in a five-kilometre hill-climb and in a 40-kilometre time trial, and ended with a third-place finish in a 62-kilometre race.
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