Chris Desjardins (centre) receives his gold medal after the road race.

Gold for Nelson’s Desjardins

Three first place finishes for senior cyclist at the 2014 BC Seniors Games in Langley.

Nelson’s own Chris Desjardins won all three gold medals in cycling in the 60-64 age group at the 2014 BC Senior’s Games in Langley.

Desjardins, 61, came in first in the 18 kilometre time trial, 60 km road race and the hill climb.

This is Desjardins fourth time participating in the games where he won a silver and gold last year.

Desjardins said although the hill climb was the shortest event with an average eight minute hill climb, it was probably the most difficult for him.

He rode the three events over three days and went with a friend from Castlegar.

“The hill climb was the shortest and hurt the most,” he said. “The time trial is usually my weakest event. When I won, I realized there was a good chance that I could win the others.”

His strategy was to stay out of any crashes and be out front. When an opportunity arose to get ahead, he took it.

“I did experience some leg cramping and it was pretty exhaustive riding with younger faster guys.

He said he generally does better at longer hills and places well “if I can get a lead and stay away from having a sprint finish at the end.”

As he has done some racing in the Masters’ cycling association, he has gotten to know who the stronger cyclists are.

“It all depends on who shows up,” he said about placing on the podium. “Thanks to attrition, and I’m getting better. It felt good to win like that.”

Surprisingly, Desjardins had hip replacement surgery five years ago but he said cycling has the least impact on his joints.

He began cycling years ago with a group in Trail but now cycles with a large group that has since formed in Nelson. Desjardins has a fairly dedicated training regime.

“[I] take it pretty serious so five days per week, since I’m retired.” Generally the group’s weekend rides take them out to Salmo, Pass Creek or along the North Shore. They’ve also done 220 km loops down into the states.

With a well-earned win, his next big ride will be in the popular wine country of Santa Rosa, California as he rides a Grand Fondo (122 km) on October 4 with friend Jim Sevigny.

Other results:

Slocan Valley competitors at the BC Seniors Games in Langley brought home several medals including:

Track and field:

Joan Deans – gold and a silver

Don Currie – five gold and one silver

Jean Nelson – silver and a bronze

Sharon Myers – gold in the 5k

Linda Martin – bronze in the 10k

Cribbage:

Marion Williamson and Lydia Kania – gold

“Our little valley brought home a lot of medals,” Kania said.

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