Andy Willis hits top gear

BEGA cyclist Andy Willis is in top gear. 

Willis recently travelled to Canberra to compete in the ACT Veterans Cycling Club Championships where he won gold. 

Willis said he was ecstatic about the win as he was competing against some top level cyclists. 

“[I am] very happy to win, bike races are hard to win and this was a very big win for me,” Willis said. 

“The club championships are in age groups, I’m in the 50-54 years age group.”

“The course for the club championships was 49km with a few hills, but not an over-gruelling course. 

“It comes down to race tactics in the end.”

Willis said he rode with the pack for just over half the course before making his move for the front. 

“I managed to get away in a break with one other rider at about the 35km mark.

“We worked hard and managed to stay away from the peleton.”

Willis said the finish came down to an outright sprint. 

“The finish was an uphill sprint, which I managed to win over my co- breakaway rider.”

Willis said he and other locals travelled to Canberra regularly to compete with the club as it is the nearest place they can race weekly. 

“A few of us travel up to Canberra to race with the ACT Vets regulary - myself, Dominique Rideaux, Dave Mullens and Bob Britten.

“It’s the closest race club that holds weekly events.”

Willis said training locally prepared riders for almost any course. 

“We are very fortunate in that we get to train in an area that is all hills,” he said. 

“Consequently we are well prepared for the toughest of events.”

Willis said the club was open to “any cyclist 35 years or older” where he races in the top A grade division and encouraged everyone to get involved in cycling.  

However, Willis said to race competitively always required riders to travel.

“We always have to travel some distance to race.

“Recently we have raced at the Australian Veterans Championships in Geelong, the NSW State Masters Championships at Gunning and the National Masters Championships which was also at Gunning.”

Willis said he will continue training over the summer break as he is planning for his next big race, which will be an endurance event in January.  

“I have entered the Alpine Classic in January. 

“It is a 200km event in the mountains around Bright in Victoria,” he said.

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