Steamboat Springs Bill Meyers may have gotten a late start in cycling, but the success he's having on the national scene is proof his decision to begin competing was a wise one.
Meyers, 67, won two national championships at the U.S. Cycling Federation's National Championships staged in mid-August near Park City, Utah.
The Henderson Park resident won the 20-kilometer time trial and the seven-mile criterium races in the 65 to 69 age division at the Masters Nationals. He also placed fourth in the 35-mile road race, earning enough points in the three races to also win a medal as best all-around cyclist in his age division.
Meyers and Lakewood Racing Team member Scott Tucker teamed up in the criterium, and road race to help each other take a title.
"Even with two it makes a difference," Meyers said. "There were two or three good sprinters in the criterium and we wanted to get rid of them early. After three or four laps we attacked and counter-attacked. I got away and stayed away."
The pair adopted a similar strategy in the road race, which Tucker won.
"(Strategy) makes it a whole lot more fun," Meyers said. "If you can use team tactics, it's really fun. It's almost as much fun helping a buddy win as it is winning yourself."
Meyers didn't begin cycling recreationally until he was 50 when he discovered he wasn't the tennis player he had hoped he would become. Meyers, a geology professor, and a colleague at the State University of New York in Stony Brook started riding together.
"It escalated from there," Meyers said. "Even when we'd ride for pleasure, it was kind of a competition. We'd have to beat up on the grad students."
Meyers began racing in 1989 and settled in the Stagecoach area in 1998. Meyers competes in the masters divisions in many Front Range races, which he says are more organized and more competitive than races back east.
At the same nationals competition last year, Meyers won the time trial and finished second in the criterium and road race.
Meyers holds the time trial national record in the 65 to 69 age division, a 27-minute, 17-second time on the standard 20-kilometer course, which he set in New Mexico.
He plans to return this year to try to break his record.
Steamboat Springs resident Bo Randolph picked up a national championship in the criterium in the 15 to 16 age division last weekend, as well.
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