July 23/05 12:28 pm - Abitibi, World Masters Games
Posted by Editor on 07/23/05
Tour de l'Abitibi
Val-d'Or, July 22, 2005 - After Belgium yesterday, today was Sweden's turn to celebrate. Sebastian Balck climbed the top step of the podium. He was indeed the unchallenged leader of the road race between Amos and Val-d'Or.
The riders could have covered the 116,3 km distance while singing "I'm singing in the rain", not only because of the rainy weather, but also because not very much happened during the race.
Only one breakaway, along the second climb at kilometre 74, gave some action to the race. There were seven riders in the group, among them Sebastian Balck, Hot Tubes Chase Renick, and Quebecois William Goodfellow. Balck finished the race in 2 hours 38 minutes 59 seconds and the other two 30 seconds later.
The jersey wearers did not change. Canada's David Veilleux still has the brown leader jersey. Team USA Daniel Holloway wears the orange point leader jersey and Team Canada's Mark Hinnen has kept the blue jersey for first year junior leader.
Tonight race really separated the men from the boys. 141 riders started the race in Amos and only 125 finished. No doubt the racers are beginning to be tired. Tomorrow's race is the last road race. Il will be held from Preissac to Val-d'Or.
Pam and John's World Masters Games Journal
Thursday, July 21st
Before we begin bringing you the stories and highlights of the 2005 Edmonton World Masters Games we thought to introduce you to the Games and ourselves.
World Masters Games 101
The World Masters Games, attracting over 20,000 competitors, is the world's largest sporting event, as it hosts five times the number of athletes as the Olympic Games. Held every four years in various host cities and sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the Masters Games is the Olympics for athletes who are 30 to 90+ years of age. Portland and Melbourne were previous host cities with Edmonton on stage for the Masters Games this year, with the opening ceremonies beginning tomorrow. Athletes will compete in 27 summer sports in five year age categories. With "passion" as the only qualifying criteria, the Masters Games are participatory in nature and attract a range of athletes from those new to sport competing for the first time to seasoned world-class masters athletes, some of whom have moved on from pro athlete careers.
A full listing of all sports and more information can be found at the World Masters Games Web Site ( www.2005worldmasters.com ).
Introduction to Your Embedded Journalists
We, Pamela Egger and John Tolkamp, are your embedded 2005 Masters Games cycling reporters. Right now, we are nearing Edmonton, coming from our home in Vancouver, BC. We left Vancouver 6:00 am this morning hoping to make good headway on our 12 hour drive to Edmonton. Not yet learning to travel light (despite our frequent road cycling trips south every winter), our Durango is jammed full with six bikes, several wheel sets, tools, wind trainer and rollers, race clothing, and a small bag of everyday clothes. The weather is sunny and hot. We were treated to the awesome BC scenery as we drove over the Coquihalla to Kamloops and up the North Thompson River Valley. As we rounded the corner nearing the Rocky Mountain range, we were lucky enough to get the rare treat of a purely clear view of Mount Robson. A few pictures later and we were on our way.
Arriving in Jasper mid afternoon gave us a chance to stop, throw cramped travel weary legs over the top tube of our TT bikes and go for a leisurely one hour spin amidst the eye candy of Jasper National Park's mountain scenery.
Like typical Masters Athletes (unless retired) we balance professional day jobs with our training programs, competition, travel and volunteer work. Pam is a lawyer with the BC Securities Commission and volunteers on the Board of Directors of Cycling BC. John heads up the Information Technology department for Canadian Forest Products and holds a volunteer position on the Canadian Cycling Association Board of Directors.
Cycling is woven into our lifestyle. It provides us with a healthy balance to our white collar desk jobs, recreation, travel, an activity we can share as a couple, and the opportunity to meet other like minded masters athletes.
We will both be competing in the 40-45 age group in road cycling and track events. John is coming into these events as the current Canadian National Masters time trial champion, having recaptured that title from 2002. He is aiming to give his competition an exciting battle in the time trial, road race, pursuit, and scratch race at the Games this week.
Pam's cycling accomplishments include 2003 Canadian National Masters time trial and road race champion, 2003 North American Masters champion, and 2003 BC Provincial Elite time trial champion. She is looking forward to giving her competitors a tough challenge in the time trial, road race, and pursuit at the Games this week.
Our experiences from the Melbourne World Masters Games stayed with us over the past years and motivated us to set goals for the Games this year. By this journal, we aim to give all of you over the age of 30 a tempting taste of the Games and hopefully inspire you to start your training and set your goals for the 2009 Sydney World Masters Games.
Note: Results are not yet available form the organization, but we have received word that Stephanie Martinek, Arrow Racing/Ontario has just won the World Masters Games Mountain Bike Race with a six minute margin over 2nd place. (Courtesy Steve Neal)