August 27, 2004 – The top master riders in the world amassed in Austria this week to compete at the Master’s World Championships. Held in the Austrian Alps, the Master’s Worlds has returned to St. Johan for over 25 years with over 3,000 athletes of all age groups competing for the honor of attaining a rainbow jersey.
The time trial event was held first in the line up of races. Held on an out and back 20 kilometer course, the time trial had over 700 contestants. With a steep hill at the turnaround and plenty of cross winds,the course was very challenging. The women were off first in the time trial and the times reflected the wind. The US had several representatives with Giana Roberge (Team Speed Queen), Susan Cooper, Sandra Kolb, and Pat Roberts all putting in strong efforts. At the end of the day, it was Roberge with the fastest women”šs time of 27:24:85 overCooper, 18 seconds back. Third was 2003 World Champion and local favorite Doris Posch from Austria.
In the men’s event it was Richard Feldman (Durance-Lehamans) making good for the US with a smoking time in the low 25 minutes. Feldman’s win marks his second World Title in as many years.
Today kicked off the Road Race events, with Tracy Lea,Roberge, Cooper, and Roberts all competing. Despite the pouring rain and cold tempatures, the American women had a strong showing with Cooper winning the bronze medal, Roberts finishing in fifth, and Roberge and Lea finishing ninth in the respective categories.
The next three days will feature the men’s Road World Championships, with Sunday topping off the week with an Elite race for both men and women. The forecast is for sunny skies for the remainder of the competition, although snow has fallen on the nearby mountains, making for a stunning setting for the rest of the week.