Koomens’ Utah trip a success

Campbell River’s Jacob Koomen arrived home from the World Senior Games in Utah a winner

Campbell River’s Jacob Koomen, an avid cyclist, arrived home from the World Senior Games in Utah a winner.

The sportsman, who is in mid-60s, travelled to St. George, Utah where he competed in four different cycling events earlier this month.

Koomen was one of 10,000 athletes from 26 different countries who made the trek for the 27th annual Huntsman World Senior Games.

“The weather was absolutely fantastic,” Koomen says. “About 29 or 30 degrees celsius.”

And that translated to good results on the course for Koomen.

He began his journey on Oct. 8 with a five-kilometre hill climb in the 65-69 years-old age group and finished in fourth place.

The following day, Koomen raced in a 20-kilometre time trial and placed seventh.

Koomen followed that up the next day with the Criterium event where cyclists give it their all around an oval track for 2.28 kilometres over 30 minutes.

Koomen placed fifth in the Criterium but wasn’t far off the mark.

The second, third and fourth place finishers all had the same time and Koomen was just 28 seconds behind them.

On his final day, well adjusted to the elements, Koomen had his best race of the games in the 50-kilometre road race which challenged cyclists with several steep climbs.

“It also happened to be my wedding anniversary and I topped it up with a second place finish,” said Koomen who plans to return next year for the World Senior Games.

And next time around, he’ll be sure to arrive in Utah a few days ahead of time.

“One thing I did learn is the people who made the podium were the ones that came down a few days before to get their body adjusted to the altitude,” said Koomen who added he made the mistake of arriving the day before his first cycling event.

The games were the perfect way to wrap up Koomen’s 2013 cycling resume.

In May, Koomen travelled to his native Holland to ride in a cycling tour alongside his younger sister, Mieke Kroon and in June, Koomen took on the gruelling Ride2Survive from Kelowna to Delta to raise money for cancer.