Valley Heights cyclist Piet van Gurp wins Masters Road National Championships

Piet van Gurp has ridden 15,000km on his bike this year. That includes at least 100 trips up and down the Hawkesbury bends.

The 70-year-old has been training hard for state, national and international road cycling events.

On October 19 the Valley Heights man won the 70-75 years category of the Masters Road National Championships in Victoria.

“I was pushed from the first lap. I knew I had to go with any breakaway. I couldn’t stay in the bunch as there was a 90 per cent chance I would get beaten by the sprinters waiting in the bunch,” van Gurp said.

The 58km race in East Gippsland followed the Tambo River, and veered off into the hills as well. 

Sticking with the breakaway, van Gurp finished 1 minute 20 seconds ahead of the bunch.

Three weeks earlier he was competing in the hilly 105km Gran Fondo World Championships in Italy where he finished 14th in his age category.

He’d hoped for a top 10 finish. 

“You train hard and want the best result. You’re not training for fun. But if you are competitive like me, you want the best result,” the veteran cyclist said.

van Gurp raced against the best in the world in the Netherlands until the age of 24 when he left the sport to earn a trade as an electrician.

Settling permanently in Australia in his 30s, he’s been riding with Penrith Cycling Club for more than 35 years.

“I will keep racing as long as I can, if my health stays as it is.”