By Josh Cook
Be on the lookout for a bevy of bicyclists this week in the Louisville area.
More than 800 male and female cyclists, all 30 or older, from around the country began competing for over 60 national titles Tuesday in the 2010 USA Cycling Masters Road Racing National Championships.
The three-event nationals began with Tuesday’s time trials in Taylorsville. Action shifts to Cherokee Park in Louisville on Wednesday for three days of road racing before the action shifts across the river to Jeffersonville, Ind. for the criteriums (multi-lap races on short courses).
Twenty-one individual national champions were crowned Tuesday in Taylorsville after completing the course on State Road 44 near Taylorsville Lake State Park.
Among those was 86-year-old Francis Underwood (Beavercreek, Ohio), the oldest rider entered in this year‘s national championships. He claimed the winning Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the 85-89 category by covering the 20 kilometer course in 53 minutes, 38.480 seconds.
Another individual winner was Julie Lockhart (Dunstable, Mass./Northeast Bicycle team), who claimed her 15th career masters national title by winning the women’s 65-69 age group in 38:53.390.
“That was a lot of fun. It was hard work,” Lockhart said. “It was really hot and extremely humid and I was really conscious of hydrating all the way on the ride so that I wouldn’t run out of fluids.”
Locally Louisville residents Niki Dallaire and Lesley McShane won the Women’s Elite Tandem.
Racing begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday at Cherokee Park.
Some of the area’s top road-racing teams are represented in the six-day event. They include BikeClicks.com/Team Louisville, Texas Road House Racing Team, Calistoga Racing Team, Fetzer Racing Team, Scheller's Indiana Masters Racing Team and Humana/Cyclers Cafe Racing Team.
For results and/or more information visit www.usacycling.org.