Masters World Road Race Championship – South Africa

Greetings from South Africa!

For those who hadn’t heard, I qualified for the World Masters Road Race by placing second in the US qualifier in the Berkshires. The world masters race was in Pietermartizburg, South Africa.

60 miles, 4600 vertical, 90+ degrees and 15-20 mph wind. Knew who my competition was given last year’s results and stayed close to the guy from France that was second last year. No real problems other than getting bumped off the road and down a two foot bank into gravel but managed to keep upright and get back on the road.

Water was the key and the support car provided water on demand. Went through seven bottles. Took the lead with about 5 miles to go and had it until about half mile to go.

There were barricades and a bunch of traffic people none of whom pointed the way. I went straight and the other 3 or so behind me went right. Bad move. Lost at least 30 seconds and finished with the bronze medal 14 seconds behind the guy from France who won and a second behind the guy from Norway who was second.

The guy from France was very gracious and told me and others I was the strongest and deserved to win but also probably the least experienced. Got that one right.

Huge thanks to Ron Peterson, my coach through all this who crammed years of race experience into 9 months for me. He was incredibly helpful. Also so grateful to the Thursday Amalfi rides for helping me with race position and short fast ascents. Hugely helpful.

I was proud to wear the La Grange colors on the podium.

Rich Mull

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