‘Our own Lee Suthard (he’s a club member, so now we can take proud ownership!!!) took part in the National Masters Track Championships on June 29th.
Lee’s two main goals for the year are the National Championships and the World Masters Track Championships in October.
His background is on the track and in 1997, 1998 and 1999 he trained with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
Having achieved a number of 3rd 4th and 5th places in national events, it is very pleasing that Lee has won a National Championship especially riding for Weaver Valley Cycling club’
Lee gives an account of the race and the lead up to it:
” I am thrilled to have won the National 3km Master pursuit title for 40 – 44 age group. The Newport track is pretty similar to the Manchester Velodrome where I do some training, when I get the chance. I have ridden the track three times this year and done the majority of my training on the rode using a front brake fitting to my pursuit bike. It was a brilliant experience to have beaten the likes of Matt Postle (a former National Welsh Champion) and also a number of other excellent track riders including a silver medallist on the pursuit from last year’s World Master’s Track Championships. Truth be told I was almost not going to ride as I had such a bad chest infection and cold the two weeks before. On the day before the event I felt at my worst, but having weighed it all up with the entry fee and experience of riding against the best in the UK I was going to give it a go. I felt slightly better on the day of the event and drove down with my support team of my family and father. A five am start definitely wakes you up and I was racing at 11am. As I was feeling still like I couldn’t breathe I decided that I couldn’t do the ramp warm up which I would normally do (ride up to 95% of my max in a steady effort from a spinning legs warm up) bit like a mini ramp test really for anyone unfortunate enough to do it.
I decided to ride a 110 inch gear as if I couldn’t breath I couldn’t spin at normal 120 rpm. At the gear my first lap was way to slow and was easily 23 seconds, which is 3 seconds of my normal start. I had a schedule of 3:30 minutes but I knew being ill there was no way I could match this. I was riding against a Manchester Wheelers rider who I caught in 8 laps but I had to continue to get the best time and try and win. I managed 3:36.06 which was 6 seconds off my schedule and for the last three laps I was coughing and couldn’t breath (you could say this is taking anaerobic to a whole new level). I had no clue whether I had won until Matt Postle and a few others rode and I realised I had beaten their times and won the title. I am so happy even though it was the hardest race I have ever done being ill. Being National Champion feels fantastic and having a Gold medal and national Champion’s Jersey is something I could only dream of. All the hard work, dedication and training early morning at late at night because of family and work commitments is all worth it.
I hope now I can continue my winning streak and win the World Master’s Pursuit title. I know that it won’t be easy but if I am healthy I know I will be able to give the world’s best pursuiters a run for their money. The event is on the Sunday 5th October 2014 if anyone from the club wants to come and cheer me on.”