VERONA, WISCONSIN— The sun may have been out, but the temperatures were still well below freezing as the “grand” masters men sentenced to a 9:30 A.M start on the frozen course were out and racing. Three categories were on course at the same time: Master’s 60-64, 65-69 and 70+, starts separated by 30 seconds.
In the 60-64 race, Charles Townsend (Bianchi/Grand Performance/St Paul Bicycle Racing) out of Minnesota took the win. He credited it to his original plan: “Get the holeshot and make other riders make mistakes.” He did indeed snag the holeshot, and ran what announcers called a technically perfect race. Being semi-local, he told Cyclocross Magazine that he’s had a lot of experience on the course, and that his best choice of the day was running aluminum wheels for “better braking,” along with tires set to 20 PSI.
In the 65-69 race, Lewis Rollins (Contender Bicycles) seemed to have the race wrapped up, leading from the beginning, but within the last lap, he was caught and battling with Leone Pizzini (First State Velo Sport). The two sprinted it out, and Pizzini nipped Rollins at the line to take the win.
For the men’s 70+ race, which was really split into 75-79 and 80+ but raced together, Walt Axthelm (NoTubes Endurance Racing) was the heavy favorite, however, it was surprise Texas-based racer Frederic Schmid (Jubilee Subaru) who took the win in the 80+ race. Masters World Champion Ron Riley raced to another Masters National Championship and was uncontested in the 75-79 age group.