LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – Reigning National Champion Don Myrah did what many expected him to do today, crowing himself the 2013 Master 45-49 world champion. The outcome, however, was not always certain, as Moots racer Jon Cariveau put up one of the fiercest fights of the day, trading blows with Myrah throughout the race. Though Myrah eventually bested Cariveau, the winning move did not come until well into the final lap, making this the one to watch for the many spectators who came for the afternoon races. Behind the two racers, Roger Aspholm rode strong and consistent, finishing in third.
“What a day,” said Myrah. “Last night it was blizzarding out, I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be a great race. Jon Cariveau, man, what an awesome competitor. We battled back and forth. He had the lead, then I had the lead, each of us would bobble and I just ended up having one less than he did to get the win. It was any man’s race, and I got lucky.”
Each man went down, each bobbled, but as the race wound around the course neither could shake the other. At times, Cariveau looked to have shaken Myrah off his wheel, but the multi-discipline champion never panicked, and continually came back up to then put the Moots rider on the ropes.
“I was really hoping for better, but gosh, if I can share the lead with Don, battling back and forth like that, I’ll take it. It came down to who had the least amount of bobbles. We went in one to go really tight. I was riding a bike that was starting to gather a lot of nastiness on it, so I had to take a second backup bike that had the non-mud tires on it, not quite as aggressive of tread. I wasn’t quite as confident in the ruts of those corners.”
Both racers had to contend with the worsening conditions and the difficulties their pit crews faced trying to clean frozen mud without the help of power washers. “I pitted just about every lap. The bikes didn’t come back very clean. One time I got on a bike and it was worse than the one I’d been riding on!”
Myrah had two bikes, one with 324 Labs hydraulic brakes, which he says, “were great. They felt awesome today. With cold conditions, you could brake with one finger. Never an issue.”
It was one too many bobbles for Cariveau, however, that made the race, as Myrah capitalized on the mistake and put down as much power as the course would allow, finishing with enough of a gap to raise his hands and enjoy the win. “I did feel calm. I didn’t feel like I was burying myself—I was kind of going 95% because I couldn’t go 100%, there was nowhere to open it up.”
With both National and World wins to his name after returning from a long hiatus, questions turned to whether Myrah was back for good. “As long as I can keep affording to do it!”
Don Myrah defends his 45-49 Masters Cyclocross World Championship title:
Interview with John Cariveau, Second in Men’s 45-49:
I was one of the guys out there in that field and I definitely never had the support of anyone in cycling except my wife, my friends/teammates, and my bank account/credit card. Myrah deserves to be out there as much as anybody else. That race was won and lost in the pits and experience just as much as by the rider. Wish I could have been anywhere close to them but I wasn't. Gives me something to shoot for just like the last 10 years.
Mo, there are plenty of athletes that never had Olympic glory, or the benifits for the OTC for training, or a real job, full industry support or the 9to 5 constraints of a career outside of riding a bike. I agree there are plenty of men sitting on the couch, but the few that have seen the inner circle should race PRO, and stay PRO. I feel many of these Ex-Pro racers that still race Masters just steal the limelight from those that had other oblations during their "prime", and now race for fun, but get beaten by "masters" w/ PRO talent. Just my opinion.
Patrick -- why should they not be able to compete? They are now masters who have stayed in shape and didn't burn out after their glory days! It takes more mental strength to keep training at a high level after having been there already. If they're willing to continue to train I say why not!? Let them go for it. There are plenty of men their age sitting in the couch drinking beer!