Oak Creek cyclist dominates in games

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Oak Creek resident Bill Meyers, 66, traveled to St. George, Utah, earlier this month, hoping for a strong showing at the annual Huntsman World Senior Games.

What he ended up doing there wasn't just strong, it was dominating.

In St. George, Meyers set new records in the hill climb and time trial -- and the records he broke were his own. He won the time trial in 14 minutes, 54.19 seconds and the time trial in 28:22.46 en route to sweeping all four cycling events in the 65-69 age division.

Meyers also won the 62-kilometer road race in 1:53:17 and the criterium, which is measured in laps at the competition, held Oct. 6-18.

"It's been a very good year," Meyers said.

In the past several months, Meyers has won his age division at the Cherry Creek Time Trial Series in Denver, topped the Estes Park Stage Race in the 55-and-older division, and won the time trial event at the National Championships held in Louisville, Ky., earlier this summer. He also finished second in the criterium and the road race at the championships.

Meyers' competitive road-racing career follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Jim. Jim Meyers, 70, gave up competitive road cycling a couple of years ago when he started suffering from shortness of breath during training sessions. He took up mountain biking to fill his competitive needs, but said he is thrilled to see his younger brother excelling in the competitive world of road cycling that he loves.

"I think he's passed me up now," Jim Meyer said.

Utah's Huntsman Games were started in 1987 with 500 athletes taking part. In 2002, more than 6,500 athletes took part in 20 sports ranging from cycling to horseshoes.

The games are open to all male and female athletes age 50 and older.

"I've been there the last four years," Meyers said. "They are really well run and are just a lot of fun."

Meyers has swept all four cycling events the past two years, but said he expects things to get tougher when he returns to St. George next year.

"I know there are some really good riders who will (move up to my division) next year," Meyers said.

Meyers expects top riders from the 60-64 division to make his division more difficult to win in 2004.

"You just never know what is going to happen at events like this until you see who shows up to race," Meyers said.

Meyers said the Huntsman World Senior Games mark the end of the competitive cycling season for him.

He plans to stay active this winter by cross country skiing, snowshoeing and Alpine skiing.

He said he also likes to weight train and jump on his stationary training bike a few times each week.

Meyers said at his age, muscle memory is an important part of his training routine and that if he didn't ride a stationary bike in the winter, the muscles he uses the most in the summer season would suffer.

In March, a large group of riders, most of them from the Front Range, usually heads to Southern California for a week of training, he said. The trip is a great way to get back together with friends, socialize and get into shape before the cycling season, which kicks off in April.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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