by Dave Mable
Four age groups were contested In the final race of the morning: Masters 70-74, 75-79, 80-84 and 85-plus.
Starting all together, the field of 15 would quickly spread out on the long, strength-sapping climb to the top of the Belgian stairs, at the north end of the course, about a kilometer into the race.
Running first to the top of the stairs, John Elgart (Sacramento Golden Wheelmen) led all categories, though Robert Ogren, Whitney Fanning and Allan Marvin were close behind. Rick Abbott, in his rainbow-striped jersey, was not far behind.
“With all the up and down, in these conditions it’s a little sketchy,” said Elgart, “but I screwed up my courage and managed to ride it. Ogren was close behind me, and I thought “Hey! I gotta ride this.” So I rode down to the double hairpin, then I got off and ran the double hairpin.”
At age 84 (racing age 85), Fred Schmid was not far behind, this course suiting him well.
“It was absolutely a superb course,” Schmid said after the race. “I really liked it. It allowed you to ride fast and to corner, it challenged you in the mountains and the off-camber stuff.”
On his way to his first Masters 85-plus victory, Schmid relied on his years of cycling experience, passing on pre-ride of the course, before the race.
“I must say I ran all that junk (steep climbs and off-camber descents), because that was the first time I’d ridden it. I had not done any practice rides, so my first lap was my practice lap.”
In the end, Schmid completed two laps in a time of 31:10, which placed him in tenth overall, and would have placed him second in the 75-79 age group.
In the 70-74 group, Elgart continued to hold his lead to the line, finishing three laps in 31:13. Ogren followed close behind, a scant 23 seconds back, earning silver, while Abbott made his way up into third, taking home the bronze another fifty seconds behind.
James Wagner also completed three laps, finishing in 32:50, winning the Masters 75-79 race. Mike MacDonald completed two laps of the Reno course in 31:14, sprinting to take the silver medal ahead Loren Russell, who finished only two seconds behind.
Taking home the stars and stripes jersey for his victory in the Master’s 80-84 race, Peter Dahlstrand finished one lap in 31:10.
On continuing to ride into your seventies and even eighties, both Elgart and Schmid agree.
“Ride for fun,” said Elgart.
“You feel good riding,” said Schmid, “so just keep doing it!”
For more from Reno, see our continuing coverage of the 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals on our dedicated Nationals page.
Men Masters 70+ Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals
|Men Masters 70-74|
|1||482||ELGART||John||Sacramento Golden Wheelmen||Sacramento CA||31:13|
|2||481||OGREN||Robert||Power Fix CX||Bloomington MN||31:36||23|
|3||478||ABBOTT||William Richard||Boulder CO||32:28||1:15|
|7||484||THOMAS||David||Micro Metals/Bike Zoo||Knoxville TN||37:28||6:15|
|9||477||SEGAL||Myron||Arrow Bicycle||Silver Spring MD||34:31||@1Lap|
|Men Masters 75-79|
|2||513||MACDONALD||Mike||Rancho Cordova, CA||31:14||@1Lap|
|4||511||WILLMORE||R Lee||Seal Beach, CA|
|Men Masters 80-84|
|Men Masters 85+|