Rider re­flects on what might have been

South Waikato News - - SPORT - By PETRICE TAR­RANT

Jim McMur­ray’s hopes of a podium fin­ish at the UCI World Am­a­teur Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships were dashed when he con­tracted a lung in­fec­tion just days be­fore the in­ter­na­tional event.

But sixth place in the 157 kilo­me­tre road race in Slove­nia, out of 153 com­pet­i­tive rid­ers, is noth­ing to scoff at.

‘‘That’s what ev­ery­one keeps telling me but if I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed I wouldn’t be as good as I am – you have to want to win,’’ McMur­ray said.

He com­peted in the road race as well as the 19km time trial, which he man­aged in just over 24 min­utes.

The Forest­land Wheel­ers Club mem­ber said he was hop­ing to bring home a medal to sit along­side the sil­ver he won at last year’s tour in Italy. But a se­ri­ous case of the flu left him won­der­ing what could have been.

‘‘I gave it ev­ery­thing and did pretty well con­sid­er­ing. It wasn’t an ex­cuse but a rea­son.’’

He ad­mit­ted his own ex­pec­ta­tions were higher be­cause he was in bet­ter con­di­tion than when he brought home the metal last year.

Rid­ers from 38 coun­tries joined him at the time trial start line in Slove­nia.

‘‘The guys that got sec­ond and third in the time trial last year def­i­nitely didn’t go any faster, I just couldn’t reach the same speeds. I was def­i­nitely knocked by the flu.’’

But it’s on­wards and up­wards for McMur­ray, who will be rid­ing an av­er­age of 400-450km ev­ery week lead­ing up to the Round the Lake in Novem­ber.

On­wards and up­wards: Jim McMur­ray is fo­cussing on his next goal after com­ing sixth in the UCI World Am­a­teur Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships.

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