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County cyclist’s gold medal win qualifies for worlds – but he won’t be going

Rob Legge, of Cressy, has cycled his way into world championship competition next month – but he won’t compete there, feeling that travel to Europe may not be safe during the pandemic.

Still, it was a goal met as he has been cycling for about 18 years, following success as a track runner, including competition for Canada in the 1971 Pan American games in Cali Columbia.

Last year’s World Gran Fondo trials were to be held in Victoriaville, but were cancelled due to the pandemic. Still, he travelled there to get an understanding of the course and plan his training.

Before this year’s race, his primary ‘hill’ workout training included Lake on the Mountain, Chuckery and the army camp hills.

“I started in the early spring and gradually built up my strength and endurance over these hills. COVID gave me the time to properly train, building an endurance base through the winter and spring. This past summer I frequently rode 100 km plus in workouts and added faster tempo training.”

And that brought success.

Legge won gold in the age 70-74 category of the 110km Appalachian Classic Gran Fondo earlier this month in Quebec – despite a couple of wrong turns and stopping to repair his bike chain – and qualified to ride in the UCI Grand Fondo World Championship in Bonsnia and Herzegovina mid-October.

“I’m a very competitive person, so the World Gran Fondo challenge was right up my alley. This year was a learning experience,” said Legge. “I will use the experience gained to prepare for next year’s qualifier and hope to compete in Trento Italy in September. The ultimate goal is in 2023, to qualify for the World Gran Fondo event in Glasgow Scotland. I will be in the 75-79 category.”

Legge fininished in 4:33:05, three minutes ahead of his second place competitor. He also finished sixth in the 60km Canadian Masters Road Race Championship (ages 65-plus category) the day before. He was the eldest competitor in both events. The Quebec event attracted more than 1,0000 amateur cyclists from Canada and the northeastern United States.

He has competed in several similar races, usually doing a few 100km events each year, including the former Kiwanis Fall Colour ride, the Rotary Lilac Ride and the Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred.

“In 2019 I did the 60 mile El Tour de Tucson, finishing third in the 70-74 age category. That ride gave me confidence that I could successfully compete in age group races.”

The weekend before Victoriaville he also rode with the County’s Team Myderwyk in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, raising funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital.

“We rode 160km on the Saturday and 100km on the Sunday and raised $50,000 for cancer research.”

This past weekend Legge also cycled the County Gran Fondo 100km ride circuit starting from Isaiah Tubbs Resort on West Lake, through the Sandbanks, past vineyards, and through Milford, Picton and Wellington.

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  1. Aaron says:

    Congratulations Rob!! What an inspiration!

  2. Dave Thomas says:

    Congratulations Rob. I will look out for you on the roads next time I am out for a ride.

  3. Eight says:

    You are a CHAMPION!!!!!
    Good luck next year.

  4. Katrina Creasy says:

    Congratulations Rob!

  5. Siobhan Harrison says:

    Congratulations Rob, well done! All your hard work has paid off.

  6. Borys Holowacz says:

    You are world-class!

  7. Cheryl Anderson says:

    Way to go Rob!

  8. Barbara Wallace says:

    Congratulations Rob!! That’s fantastic. You are a true inspiration.

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