Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Puz, Feldman, Woods cycle to national titles

Road bike championships at Bend

Patty Puz and Richard Feldman celebrate their USA Cycling Masters time trial champion-ships last week in Oregon. Courtesy photo

     Wood River Valley bicycle racers rustled up national championships in their age classes at the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships for the coveted Stars-and-Stripes jerseys Sept. 5-7 in the Bend, Ore. area.

     The nation’s fastest Masters time trialists competed Wednesday, Sept. 5 in Prineville northeast of Bend on a Crooked River Highway course. Puz, 73, won her sixth national time trial championship and Feldman, 43, captured his seventh national TT crown. Both ride for Durance/Colnago.

     Competing in Women’s 70-74 over a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) distance, Puz demolished her competition with a time of 36:59.37 to win by two minutes and 17 seconds. The outcome represented quite a comeback for Puz, sidelined through winter by a broken tail bone.

     Hailey’s Priscilla Woods, 70, of Durance/Colnago finished third in 39:52.9.

     In Master Men's 40-44, world time trial champion Feldman outpaced his competition over 30k (18.6 miles) by 15 seconds, in a time of 37:53.19. His average speed was 47.433 kmh (29.43 mph), far outpacing anyone else in the 27-rider class. Feldman had placed second in his class by just four seconds in last year’s national time trial.

     John Swyers and Tom Campion, both riding for Durance-Colnago, raced in the Men's 70-74 group at the 20k distance. Swyers, 73, made the fifth-place podium at 31:39.99. Campion, 70, placed eighth at 32:35.

     Ketchum’s mountain bike queen Rebecca Rusch, 44, of Specialized, decided to give time trailing a whirl after competing all season long on fat tires. In Senior Women’s 40-44 Rusch placed fourth over 30k at 43:43.09, narrowly missing the bronze by 4.71 seconds.

     On Sept. 6, both Feldman and Rusch competed in their respective road races around Mt. Bachelor. Feldman was nipped at the line of the men's 110k (68.2 miles) road race, placing third with a time of 2.43:34. Rusch also finished in third, with a time of 2.31:58 for her 84km (52.1 mile) road race.

     Swyers competed in his road race Sept. 7 around Mt. Bachelor, finishing 12th in Men's 70-74 field at 2.15:58 for his 62km (38.4 mile) course.

     Priscilla Woods followed up her third place in the time trial with her first-ever national championship title in the road race. Woods completed the 62km distance in 2.59:27, winning the gold by more than five minutes.

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