Rookie 'Dog golden 0
Local cyclists Richard Allan, Jenna Leonhart and John Palmer were all golden at last month's provincial time trial championships in Altona. (Submitted photo)
The Portage Junk Yard Dogs had a successful showing at last month's provincial time trial championships.
That included a rookie.
Jenna Leonhart, Richard Allan, and John Palmer all scored first place finishes in their respective divisions in Altona.
Leonhart won the women's junior division 16.1-km race in a time of 27:28, Allan won the men's 50+ 19.2-km race in a time of 33:02, and Palmer won the men's 70+ 16.1-km race in a time of 37:35.
Allan is in his first year of competitive racing, having decided to give it a try recently after years of cycling for fun.
"That made it even more special that I could ," said Allan. "I realized at any age, I could compete and do well. It was a thrill for me, because I didn't ever expect to win a gold medal.
"I'm hoping to keep this up for quite awhile."
Allan said he was familiar with Junk Yard Dogs members, and they urged him to give it a go to see how he liked it.
"I thought I'd try it and see where I fit in and try to ride with other people," said Allan. "The other guys said 'you could race if you want'. (I thought) give it a try before you're 65 and you regret not ever doing it."
Allan said he's been training regularly with Bob Guenther since he bought a racing bike last year. He noted the pair will ride from Austin to Holland and from Rathwell to Notre Dame. He said he's learned plenty about the sport in a short amount of time.
"If you're going to do it, you've got to give it your all," said Allan, noting his time wasn't far off from strong riders two decades his junior. "You can get way behind and discouraged pretty quick."
As for Palmer, he felt he'd have liked to have posted a smaller time, but is glad to capture gold for the second year in a row.
"It was my ambition that I would win it in a faster time, but it was held on a different course, and the wind was blowing straight from behind on the way out from the turn," said Palmer. "Going out, I was going at 45.5 km/h, but coming back, it was into this almighty headwind, and I was down to 22 km/h.
"I knew that I didn't have a lot of opposition. I was just more intent on finishing — it was really hard."
For more, please see Friday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.