Sangudo’s King-Lamoureux claims cycling bronze
She may be a King, but at cycling she could easily pass for a queen.
Sangudo’s Eleanor King-Lamoureux carried the hopes of the Barrhead area in cycling at the Alberta 55-plus Summer Games.
And she did not disappoint. She came third in the 55-plus women’s time predicted 10 km event.
“A bronze for Barrhead,” she exclaimed. “Of course, I was looking for a gold, but bronze is still a medal.”
First place went to Barbara Hopkin, from Valleyview in Zone 8, while Edmonton’s Jan Robinson from Zone 6 took silver.
The cycling events were run from Belvedere Hall, about 13 kilometres outside downtown Barrhead.
Thirty-three cyclists took part in 10 km and 20 km rides, and time predicted events over two days. There were three different age categories for men: 55-plus, 65-plus and 75-plus. And two for women: 55-plus and 65-plus.
When the final rider returned late on Saturday morning, Zone 5, which includes Barrhead and Sangudo, had amassed seven medals.
King-Lamoureux, who rides a 24-speed Giant bike worth about $2,000, put in two strong performances over Friday and Saturday.
On the first day the sun blazed relentlessly throughout the morning, but it was the wind, not the heat, that King-Lamoureux felt.
“It was coming against me,” she said.
Entering a cool and overcast Saturday, she faced a big challenge in overhauling Hopkin and Robinson, who had established a firm grip on the first two places.
After she finished there was the customary anxious wait before riders’ times were posted up on a big board. When she saw “3rd” against her name, she smiled with joy and reflected on a happy two days.
“It has been a fun event,” she said. “It has been very well organized and I’ve met a lot of new people. The camaraderie has been great and the food has also been very good.”
Although an experienced cyclist, with the World Masters in 2005 in Edmonton on her resume, this was King-Lamoureux’s first experience of the provincials.
In her quest for gold, she has devoted a lot of time and energy into getting in tip-top shape.
“I’ve been riding about 20 kilometres a day,” she said.
At 86, Lacombe’s Margrit de Graff was the oldest rider, although few would have guessed it judging by her lithe frame and easy gait.
Defying her DOB, she won a bronze medal in the women’s 10 km 65-plus group with a time of 25.21, trailing Ilene Larson and gold medallist Freddi Bromling.
The next day, she powered her way round the 20 km course, claiming another bronze.
Making de Graff’s performance even more remarkable is the fact that she only has an eight-gear bike, which was put together by her son-in-law from two cycles acquired in a garage sale.
Success is nothing new to German-born de Graff. At the 2009 55-plus Games in Airdrie she won women’s 10 km and 20 km cycling events.
The awards ceremony was conducted by Carla Carlson, Karen Taylor and Lois Schulz, a Barrhead cycling enthusiast and wife of Mayor Brian Schulz. On Friday, Barrhead reeve Bill Lee joined the winners on stage at the hall. The next day it was Town councillor Ty Assaf’s turn to congratulate the contestants.
Several members of Barrhead’s cycling club, Women on Wheels, helped run the event. Their constant good humour and cheering of contestants ensured a festive atmosphere.
For WOW members like Margaret Osborne the 55-plus Games is a learning experience.
She believes that seeing first-hand what it takes to lay on such an event might encourage Barrhead cyclists to compete in a future games.
Osborne and fellow WOW cyclists Karen Wierenga and Colleen Bauer recently took part in the 2013 Tour de l’Alberta, which started and finished in Morinville.
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