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Cycling

No road too long for aspiring rider

Christopher Scott is not a star athlete, but that may change with titles.

By TERRY JONES
Published September 28, 2003

BRANDON - Amid all the football, baseball, hockey - shoot, even the cross country, volleyball and golf - there is an exceptional athlete who easily could be overlooked.

That's because he's a cyclist, a 17-year-old Bloomingdale senior named Christopher Scott, who seems happy to work his legs off for his sport, hoopla or not.

"He loves to work at it," his father, Bill Scott, said. "And whoknows, he might be making more headlines pretty soon."

The next two weeks could help raise his profile, as he races in Cycle Fest, a three-day event in West Palm Beach, followed the next weekend by the Florida State Championships with two road races of more than 50 miles.

Don't doubt that Scott could add state champion to his resume.

In July, while Lance Armstrong was in France, Scott broke from the ranks of the unknown in the 17-day International Cycling Classic in Wisconsin.

He placed fourth against some of the toughest amateur cyclists in the world.

Riders started July 10 at Manasha, Wis., and finished July 27 at White Fish after a series of races around the state.

Scott said the longest course was 10 miles. The cyclists circled it seven times.

After a day of racing the competitors would clean up, eat and rest for the night. Scott stayed primarily at one place and traveled for as many as two hours to line up the next day, returning to his home base for the night.

"I don't think I have ever been as exhausted as I was during that race," the 5-foot-9, 122-pound Scott said. "I was so tired I didn't race on two of the days, but I stayed at the front or close to it each day. I only finished first once, but that helped me place fourth overall."

Riders accumulated points based on position each day. Unlike the Tour de France, which required staggered starts based on accumulated times, all cyclists started en masse each day.

"We all carried at least two water bottles and usually a couple of energy bars," Scott said. Some days he carried a food bag.

To stay in top shape Scott trains 10 hours a week, riding six days. His longest distance for a day: 123 miles.

"His schedule is pretty full," Bill Scott said. "That's for sure."

- Times staff writer Scott Purks contributed to this report.

[Last modified September 28, 2003, 01:49:44]


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