Pear­son’s cy­cling suc­cess is on track

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.

CY­CLING: Whit­sun­day cy­cling leg­end Mark Pear­son brought home bronze and sil­ver ac­co­lades from two track events at the Cairns Masters Cy­cling com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day.

And if it wasn’t for a tyre punc­ture in the road event, he would have fit the cri­te­ria to take home Gold.

Pear­son com­peted in the 45-50 year age group for only the sec­ond time on Fri­day.

“Pre­vi­ously I rode with ju­niors in their late teens so it’s good to see how you are re­ally go­ing in your own age group,” he said.

Track cy­cling has been Pear­son’s pas­sion since the age of 12, where he started out in New Zealand.

He also com­peted in track events in Mel­bourne as a ju­nior at the age of 17-18.

De­spite fac­ing a num­ber of chal­lenges through­out his ca­reer, he has al­ways found a way to over­come them.

At the youth­ful age of 19, Pear­son sus­tained a se­ri­ous in­jury which kept him off the bike for three years.

From the age of 22-25, Pear­son com­peted over­seas in Europe, track­ing around France, Spain and Eng­land be­fore yet an­other in­jury kept him out of cy­cling for 20 years.

Pear­son is cur­rently in his sec­ond year of a three-year build-up phase, and so far he has achieved phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess.

“I only just got back on the bike, I had lots of in­juries last year and ma­jor back prob­lems, but the body is start­ing to come right,” he said.

“(Next year) I want to ride a lot more, ride the State Track Cham­pi­onships and the Na­tional Track (Cham­pi­onships).”

Pear­son’s in­spi­ra­tion to re-ig­nite his pas­sion for cy­cling came from some pretty high places.

“The big­gest in­spi­ra­tion for me was one and two years ago two of my best mates be­came world cham­pi­ons in Masters and I thought maybe it’s time to have an­other go and the rest has been his­tory,” he said.

“This is the sec­ond year (of my re­turn) and it is next year where I want things to re­ally start hap­pen­ing, but this year is on track too.”

With monthly track events on the hori­zon set to be held in Mackay, Townsville, Bund­aberg and Rock­hamp­ton, Pear­son main­tains his track­ing form by rid­ing 350-400km six days a week.

Pear­son said it was im­por­tant to make a dis­tinc­tion be­tween road cy­cling and track cy­cling.

“Track is to­tally dif­fer­ent; it’s fixed wheel and one gear and you can’t stop ped­alling, it’s a real dis­ci­pline,” he said.

“On road you have 21 gears to choose from.”

This week marks Pear­son’s first break for two years where he has gone back home to see his fam­ily in New Zealand.

SPEEDY: Mark Pear­son com­peted in the Cairns Masters Track Cy­cling com­pe­ti­tion.

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