Riders eye state time trial championship event

Published June 8, 2005

USA Cycling racers are preparing their aerodynamic bikes for Sunday's Florida State Time Trial Championship in St. Augustine.

The Coastal Chiropractic Racing Team and the American Bicycle Company will play host at the new course. It is offering championship time trials for Junior riders 10-18 in the 20-kilometer distance, plus for cyclists in the Men, Women, Masters Men and Women, Tandem and Open 40K categories.

The state layout is flat and fast. The starting and finish line is at St. Augustine-Molasses junction on 214, about 1 mile west of 13A, near the scale station. The competition is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. No drafting is allowed and USA Cycling rules will apply.

State titles and medals, along with Florida Series Points, will be awarded in the USA Cycling five-year increments. Some categories will have cash prizes. For information, contact 904 591-0800 or guypreston@comcast.net

LOCAL CHAMPIONS: Cyclists returning as defending state time trial champions were Tampa's Miles Cameron, a gold medal winner in the Junior 10-12 division for Team American Classic; and Largo's Lance Riddile, a silver medalist in the men's Category 5 class for Team Chainwheel Drive.

Other top riders in last year's state time trial were Val Tavanese of Belleair, Masters Women Category 4 medalist; and Dennis Sullivan, St. Pete Beach, Masters Men 55-plus medalist. The fastest cyclist was Miami's Ivan Franco. The JC Investors Cycling Team competitor rode the 40-kilometer championship distance in 53 minutes, 57 seconds.

A FATHER'S DAY GIFT: Area kids raced on 20-inch bikes in state championship competition on May 21-22 at St. Cloud BMX Track.

Winners in the National Bicycle League event included Patrick McGarry, 10, of St. Petersburg and Cody Sandford, 9, of Clearwater. Both boys benefit from having fathers who race. The dads say the best Father's Day gift is to see their sons racing well and having fun at the St. Pete BMX Track.

"Patrick is really enjoying himself and, as a father, I'm so proud of him," said Mark McGarry, a Masters 40-plus state criterium champ for West Coast Wheelmen. "I have skipped most of my racing to follow Patrick this season. I'll be more than happy to put his new Novice champion number plate on his bike for him.

"There are so many great kids out there," McGarry said. "Chris Williams from St. Pete BMX is another one. He is a top 16-year-old."

Sandford's father, Mike, has finished Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and won the Florida State Road Race on the demanding Sugarloaf Mountain course in Clermont. Cody is a top Novice racer.

"My son has trophies in his room that are taller than he is," Mike Sandford said. "He has fun riding and being with his friends, but he also is motivated by winning. It's a good hobby for kids in elementary and middle school. It keeps them busy and active."

For St. Pete BMX information, call (727) 345-2135.

HOFFMAN HEADS TO NATIONALS: Goodlife Games gold torch finalist Patricia Hoffman, 55, of Palm Harbor is competing in swimming, cycling and triathlon at the Summer National Senior Games, which continue through June 18 in Pittsburgh. Hoffman's spring training helped the 55-59 division athlete record victories in Sunsets At Pier 60 Race, on June 3; Crystal River Triathlon, May 30; and Dunedin Triathlon, June 5.

The national games, an 18-sport competition for 50-plus women and men, are every two years. For information, go online to www.goodlifegames.org or www.nsga.com

Sand Key Triathlon director Bev Buysse and USAT coaches will offer several free training clinics that focus on beginner athletes. The clinics will teach proper transition set-up and swim, bike and run techniques, plus answer questions for those new to the sport. The clinics are scheduled for July 30-Aug. 27 at Clearwater Community Sailing Center, 1101 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. The Sand Key Triathlon .5-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run will be at a new venue, Clearwater's Sand Key Park, at 7 a.m. on Sept. 25. The competition is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event, and proceeds will benefit Clearwater Community Sailing Center. For information, go online to www.trithisinc.com or call (727) 526-5371.