Sir Hubert Opperman is one of Australia’s most famous cyclist’s despite the fact that his cycling career concluded 60 years ago. In his time he set a series of momentous records for endurance cycling that seemed they would last for eternity. The Central Victorian Veteran Cycling Club Inc conduct an “Oppy Classic” that perpetuates the memory of the legend. This year in a dead heat popular Central Victorians Veterans cycling club member Trevor Pell continued on his winning way, after 67 gruelling km of the 2010 “Oppy” handicap held at Rochester on Saturday the 29th of March. With a field of 129 riders contesting the “Oppy”, Trevor rode off the handicap mark of 19min 30sec and the bunch under his leadership, caught and passed the front four bunches by the half way mark.
Trevor better known for his sprinting ability was one of the main workers only having the occasional sit behind his super domestic (Bruce Tonkin).
Despite the trying weather conditions which included rain and cross winds Trevor was able to present himself for the sprint after a long lead out by Andrew Berry for the equal first place.
The name Pell is known across cycling circles and in the veterans this chalks up in the history books Trevor’s third major. The first being the Camperdown to Warrnambool (which he admits gave him a lot of satisfaction as a lot of riders said a big man can’t win this race). The second major win was the Iron Bark classic at Rushworth. Over the years Trevor has won the Bendigo cycling clubs coveted Christmas handicap and the Inglewood classic. At a local club level 2010 is turning out to be Trevor’s most successful year, managing to win 2 feature races one being the Hall painting handicap and has also managed a 3rd and a 5th.
Trevor puts his good form down to overcoming a mild heart condition and weight loss. The heart condition known in medical terms as “Arterial Fibrillation” which resulted in Trevor being advised by his heart specialist to stop riding for 6 months. A forced layoff for any elite athlete is a testing time, but fortunately Trevor was able to fill the void left in his life by assisting the handicapper each Saturday and Wednesday. Although the handicapper might well say he was more of an annoyance rather than assistance. With his heart condition now under control the problem was the putting on of a fair amount of weight which is not ideal for any bike rider. The loss of weight required a lifestyle change and stop eating anything and everything. Taking on the parrot diet adopting the discipline of “Just eat heaps of fruit and try and stick to it” is not easily done for a man who loves food but to his credit resulting in a loss of 12kg.
Also another key to Trevor’s come back and weight lose is to commit to training consistently with the Gary Hamilton 5pm bunch and also to commit to racing each Saturday. Trevor has always been interested in cycling and once his football career was over at Huntly he decided he still had the need for some sought of competition. Thus he decided to join the veterans cycling club in 1999 at the age of 43, and has been a member ever since. Trevor has also been a member of the Bendigo cycling club enjoying a few years of track racing where his short turns and last lap sprints were legendary. It is not uncommon to see Trevor on another set of 2 wheels his motorcycle assisting with race marshalling. Trevor is well know for his keen mind for race averages required to win and a quick whit that is never short of a comeback. The best advice Trevor was he was given was how to say “IN”, don’t be afraid to sit on a bunch and don’t sprint too far out wait until the last 50 meters.
The advice Trevor freely gives out to new riders is and religiously follows:
- Don’t be afraid to sit on.
- Call “IN” very LOUDLY when sitting on.
- Scratch doesn’t need to win every week.
Trevor’s favourite training course is the Sunday morning unwind which takes in the Huntly, Bagshot circuit all nice and flat of course none of those nasty hills. Then to finish of the week there is nothing better than joining in for the Sunday morning skinny latte with all his cycling mates.
Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing.