National title for Hampson
JOHN Hampson hopes his recent national cycling title in the Masters 8 competition - for those aged 65-70 - on the Tweed Coast can inspire fellow Bundaberg residents to cycle around the area.
Last month, at the 2015 Cycling Australia Masters road national titles, Hampson won three medals including gold in the individual time trial.
His time of 30 minutes and 25 seconds would be more than 44 seconds faster than the rest of the field.
The rider, who cycles for the Coral Isle Cycling club, also won a silver and bronze in the road race and the criterium respectively.
His consistency in all three events also gave him the champion of champions trophy for his age group.
With a new national title race suit as well, Hampson admitted it was surreal being the champion of Australia for his Masters age group.
"I've won Queensland titles before, but never a national title, so it is a great feeling to be the number one in Australia," he said.
"In the time trial I felt I had an advantage because I trained in the wind on the Bundaberg roads.
"The toughness of the conditions in the area prepared me perfectly and I was able to ride well to win the gold."
It could have been better as well in the other events.
"The road race was an uphill finish, and I led until the final moment, before being overtaken by the eventual winner," Hampson said.
"It was the same in the criterium and I was over-run in the race as well," he said.
The result left Hampson disappointed not to have added another gold.
"Losing both races was gutting as I was the one attacking the finish.
"I didn't get fully rewarded for the attack."
Every week Hampson cycles an average of 250 kilometres and competes regularly in events around the region. These include the Bundaberg to Gayndah ride and criterium races at the Coral Isle club.
Cycling for the local painter is a great stress release as well, because he spends all of his week up and down scaffolds with his job.
"Riding helps me with fitness a lot. It also allows me to relax and recharge after a tough week," he said.
Hampson also hoped the achievement would get people riding again.
"Bundy is such a flat town and a great spot to have a cycle," he said.
"I know times have changed but it would be great for people to ride around the town again.
"Bundaberg used to be wonderful for cycling and I hope it can get back to that."