Wilson's medal wins

MASTERS: National Masters Road Championship Time Trial Denis Fahey (second), Chris O'Donnell (first) and Whyalla's Adrian Wilson (third).
MASTERS: National Masters Road Championship Time Trial Denis Fahey (second), Chris O'Donnell (first) and Whyalla's Adrian Wilson (third).

Adrian Wilson had the time of his life or said he was just plain stupid to commit to six races during two major events from October 3 to 11.

He explained that some riders were specialists in their events and only competed in their favourite events such as the time trial, road races or criteriums.

He competed in all six races and placed in all except one race saying "he was tested by the best".

His Masters 10 racing group (75-80 years old) had him as the oldest at 76 years competing with riders such as Denis Fahey (NSW), who held the world record Individual Pursuit 3000 metre track for nine years some years back.

Another rider Hugh Brown (Illawarra) had been training in France on big climbs in preparation for this competition, so some seasoned riders.

This didn't faze Adrian.

He had his eyes set on the green and gold jersey and with sheer determination and guts he hung on like a terrier dog at one's heel.

The first of three races held October 3 to 6 was the 2019 Cycling Australian Masters Road National Championships held at Willunga.

The Individual Time Trial over 17.24kms at McLaren Flat, Adrian (Whyalla) rode strong placing third with Chris O'Donnell (Mt Gambier) first and Denis Fahey (Waratah Masters) second on October 3.

The next day the Road Race of two laps including Penny Hill Road, McLaren Flat and Adrian said it compared maybe to the Fitzgerald Bay climb but 3-4 kms longer, a mighty challenge.

Time Trial event looks like pain and agony for third place getter Adrian Wilson.

Time Trial event looks like pain and agony for third place getter Adrian Wilson.

Of interest, this Penny Hill will be in the upcoming Tour Down Under in January 2020.

In this race he was dropped in the second leg and finished one minute behind the winner in fourth place it was the only race he didn't get a medal.

With Denis Fahey (NSW) taking the win in one hour 26:18, second Phil Stevenson (Northern Vets) and third Hugh Brown (Illawarra).

Their times over the line were better than riders 10 years their junior.

To help identify riders in the different age groups they wore coloured hair nets over helmets.

The winner had the same bike as Adrian but he had changed to 34 gearing to help with the hill climbing.

This was serious competition with riders looking for a winning edge.

The final race in this event was the Criterium on Sunday, October 6, around Victoria Park in wet and cloudy weather.

For Adrian's age group they rode hard and fast for 30 minutes then given two laps to go signal with all of the 8-10 Masters groups all together.

This was Adrian's most exciting race with nine competitive riders and a head wind finish meaning the strongest rider to take out the win.

Denis Fahey (NSW) was only half a wheel in front of Adrian Wilson (Whyalla) with both given 33.03 finish time, with Hugh Gray (Central Coast) third who was the favourite to win.

The Champion of Champions was determined by the overall point scores from places and in this Masters 10 group.

Denis Fahey was the overall winner and runner-up was Adrian Wilson.

Although Adrian missed out on the green and gold jersey he gained much personal satisfaction for having done his very best.

If that wasn't enough excitement for Adrian, he competed within days in the Australian Masters Games from October 9-11 which is held biennially being a multisport event.

This cycling event was held near Williamstown.

With all Masters Games their bikes have to be scrutinised and cleared to race with much attention to detail.

The Individual Time Trial on October 9 was a long drag up the hill then U-turn and back down the hill along the Whispering Wall Reservoir with intervals of one minute.

First Denis Fahey (NSW), second Ken Murley (Vic) and third Adrian Wilson all with close times.

Next day was the Road Race 22.95kms with 7-11 Masters groups together around Whispering Wall with a decent hill climb a 7.6 circuit.

First was Bruce Neil (Adelaide), second Adrian Wilson (Whyalla) and third Ken Murley (Vic) who was dropped in the last climb on the last lap.

Ken Murley, a world triathlete, has just come into the 75-80 age group and has travelled and competed around the world showing the level of competition for this age group.

October 11 was the Williamstown Criterium circuit with a hill climb, the 9-11 Masters groups off together racing 15 minutes then given two laps signal to the finish.

It was first Bruce Neil, second Adrian Wilson and third Ken Murley.

Adrian said out of 15 riders in this group he came over the line third a strong ride.

Adrian did a sterling job to compete in six races over these two major separate events, while some like Denis Fahey only raced in four showing how Adrian applied himself to all races.

He said he had to fight hard for the medals and said some riders didn't attempt some races or didn't finish them so he was grateful that he could.

None more proud was his wife Sandra and their family of his medal achievements.

Adrian said without Sandra navigating to get to some of these places to race and her tremendous support and that of family and friends he would have not been able to fulfil his dream of competing at Masters level.

Not bad for a farmer from Mangalo Hill, Cleve.

Whyalla Cycling Club congratulates Adrian on keeping the tradition alive of Whyalla being represented at Master Nationals level.

Reminder that Velodrome starts this Friday.

Sign on is at 6pm - all welcome.

- CAROLYN RONAN