August 17, 2004 – The second wave of masters road racing took place in Park City on Sunday with the five remaining categories fighting it out on an entirely different course from the previous day. Through the neighborhoods of Park City, the course was just under five miles per lap and was hilly and technical with one steep one-mile climb and a difficult descent with a few tight corners to tackle.
Many people enjoyed the new course, liking the fact that it was tough and technical and confined to a smaller area, however their were some protests, particularly from the 50-55 category women, who would have preferred to race on the previous days course on wider open roads and long climbs through the canyons.
Again the racing was aggressive and the fields saw greater numbers this year, demonstrating the healthy state of masters racing in the US. Lining up in the early morning with 26 riders was the men’s 60-64 category, who raced seven laps for a total of 54 kilometers (33 miles). It was the Mako Galaxy Team who dominated the race with Richard Shields and his teammate Jim Fox coming in together to take gold and silver, over two minutes ahead of third placed rider Robert Brooks.
Next up was the men’s 65-69 category racing the same distance. Scott Tucker from Lakewood Racing took the honors, earning the starts and stripes jersey with a solo win, with Kenneth Rosskopf (NZ Standard/ L5 Flyers) and Franz Hammer (First Mortgage) taking second and third places respectively.
Midday saw the men’s 70+ riders hit the course for their 54K race, for the final road race in the men’s categories. This time Francois Mertens (Zephyr CC) took the win from Hector Monsalve and Dietrich Lamprecht (Celo-Pacific) in a six-person sprint.
The afternoon brought the women to the course, leaving only the criterium up for grabs. The women’s 50-54 category saw two riders get away in a break and sprint for the line in a two-up sprint in their 54K race. After an hour and a half of racing Linda Schnepf (Simple Green) took the sprint from her breakaway partner Elizabeth Tyrell (Somerset Wheelman) with Cynthia Swain (Team Champion – Tom’s Pro Bike) coming in solo for the bronze.
Just as the wind really picked up, lightening started to strike and a storm threatened the 55-59 category women, joined by the 60+ women, who lined up for the final race of the day. They would complete five laps of the course for a total of 38K (24 miles).
In the end it was Patricia Roberts (Just Fresh/Clif Bar) in the 55-59 category, who took the sprint from Martha Iverson (Durango Wheel Club) earning her fourth stars and stripes jersey to date. Phyllis Olrich (Webcor/Alto Velo) came in just behind them to take third place. In the 60 plus, Haze Thompson (San Diego Cyclo-Vets) won yet another gold medal this week taking the road race ahead of Beatrice Burns (Laurel Cycling Club) and Jan Miller.
With the road races finished for 2004, the masters men line up tomorrow for their final event the criterium, after which we will see the women back on Tuesday along with the 65-69 and the 70+ men for more fast racing on the criterium course.