McLean still going strong | SASCOC - SASCOC

McLean still going strong

Forty-five-year-old Andrew McLean showed again this weekend what a classy all-round cyclist he is. The former road cycling professional, who is now well into the veteran age in cycling, won the Rebel Individual Time Trial overall on Saturday; and on Sunday, he finished third overall at the MTN Blockhouse Marathon, a 110km mountain bike race in Gauteng.

McLean’s forte during his years as a professional racer in the 1990s was time trialling, so his overall victory on Saturday wasn’t much of a surprise to him. He clocked 37min30sec for the relatively flat 29km route, beating some of the country’s current professionals in the process.

But Sunday’s result was something McLean is keen to treasure.

ÔÇ£I have to concede that the course did suit me in that it wasn’t technical, but I really didn’t expect to finish third overall. I am in good form because I’ve been training for the upcoming Tour of Mauritius, but to have beaten most of the country’s top mountain bike racers does feel good. It also shows that in cycling, age really is just a number.ÔÇØ

McLean’s dedication to training is as clinical and scientific as it was when he was a professional racer. Only now he has to be more time conscious in order to fit in the training around his business activities and family. He is the founder and co-director of Cycle Lab, a national chain of bicycle stores and the Toyota Supercycling Club, South Africa’s largest cycling club.

Three-time South African champion, Kevin Evans, won the MTN Blockhouse race on Sunday, with Ben Melt Swanepoel finishing second and McLean third.

ÔÇ£I wouldn’t have been able beat Kevin. I think this is as good as I’ll get in terms of fitness. But I was in contention for second place for most of the race which is quite rewarding at my age,ÔÇØ smiled McLean, whose bike attracted almost as much attention as his impressive result.

He’s switched from riding a regular 26-inch mountain bike to the bigger-wheeled 29-inch bike, which he believes has made a difference to his mountain bike racing performances of late.

ÔÇ£I think it’s the perfect bike for the kinds of races we do here in South Africa. The bigger wheel rolls better over rough surfaces and you just maintain momentum better. I think we’re going to see a big shift towards 29-inch bikes in the next few years,ÔÇØ explained McLean.

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