The wheel world
GJ's Chamberlin set to compete in UCI Masters Road Worlds in Italy
Ed Chamberlin powered his way to a pair of national titles, and now he’s shifted his focus to an even bigger event — the worlds.
Chamberlin will compete in the UCI Masters Road World Championships in Trento, Italy, later this week.
The longtime Grand Junction man will compete in the time trial Friday and the road race Sunday.
Racing in the 64-69 age group in Bend, Ore., one week ago, Chamberlin, 64, came away with national titles in the time trial and road race. He placed sixth in the criterium and was awarded the omnium points title.
“I was elated,” Chamberlin said about winning the time trial. “I wasn’t expecting to win that one.”
He won the 12-mile time trial by two seconds. Two days later he won the road race, which was a 38-mile course that finished with a six-mile climb up Mount Bachelor.
“I was expecting to do well because of the climb,” he said.
Once he hit the climb, he built a lead and won the race by 61 seconds.
Grand Junction’s Gerd Leopoldt finished eighth in the road race and 13th in the time trial.
It was cold and wet during the race, and Chamberlin said he looked forward to getting to the uphill section just to “get warm on the climb.”
Chamberlin, who founded Chamberlin Architects on Main Street in 1978, said he got back into racing once his kids were grown and he was able to step away more from work.
“I’ve been working hard my whole life, and the last couple of years I’ve taken some time off,” he said about devoting more time to training. “You can do it when you’re working, but it’s difficult to find the energy.
“You really have to set your priorities with family first. I just didn’t feel right doing that (spending too much time training) when my kids were growing up.”
The San Jose, Calif., native started racing when he was 14, then stopped for about 15 years, returning to competition for about five years when he was in his 30s. He then took another 25 years off, but he never stopped cycling.
Now he’s a national champ with an eye on a world championship.
“You want to go into something like this (thinking) positive. I’d sure like to be up there. It would be a dream to get on the podium (top three),” he said.
This isn’t Chamberlin’s first trip to the world competition. Two years ago in Belgium, he finished fourth in the time trial, in a younger age group, but had a wicked crash during the road race. He broke the femur bone in his right leg. Then, he had to endure the pain as he waited for help to arrive.
It was a wet, rainy day, and the slick roads caused a number of crashes.
“They ran out of ambulances,” he said. “I had to wait for about an hour for an ambulance.”
Chamberlin is optimistic about his chances in Italy because he’s a strong climber, and he uses Colorado National Monument, Grand Mesa and other big climbs in the area to train.
The time trial has about 1,000 feet of climbing, and the road race is a mountaintop finish in the rugged Dolomites of northern Italy.
After the wet, cold races in Oregon and the memories of his painful crash on the wet roads in Belgium in 2011, Chamberlin is hoping for one thing.
“I hope it’s dry,” he said.
He’s approaching his two races with simple strategies.
“I’d like to ride with the leaders,” he said about the road race. “It’s a lot more fun to ride at the front of the group.”
For the time trial, he wants to make sure he doesn’t go out too fast.
“If you start out too fast, you will die at the end,” he said. “You really want to control your effort.”
Chamberlin will be making the trip with his wife of 37 years, Barbara, and he said he’s just excited about the experience.
“I’m not getting any younger, so I’m going to do this while I can,” he said. “And my wife and I will enjoy a trip to Europe.”
The couple will spend two weeks after the race vacationing.
As he grows older, the competition is still fierce, but older racers are much more cordial, Chamberlin said.
“(Racing) is actually a lot of fun. As I get in the older groups they become more gentlemanly,” he said.
Chamberlin added he plans to keep on riding and racing into his 70s and maybe even beyond.