Jun. 25—Everything that Stan Moore has done over the last handful of months has been with the view of his trip to Minneapolis this past weekend.
The thousands of miles he put on his stationary bike at his bike shop in Medford. The constant communication with his riding partner. The visualizing of race courses and how he might approach them.
It was all in preparation for the United States’ Paralympic team trials.
Moore, a 67-year-old Medford native who is legally blind, finished third and reached the podium with his riding partner Mark-Anthony Sanchez in the para-cycling division that consisted of other visually impaired cyclists.
Their ultimate goal of reaching the Paralympic Games in Tokyo later this summer wasn’t reached, with the top tandem in Moore’s division (Men’s BVI) — Chester Triplett and Michael Bissette — rolling to a win. But it was a process that Moore came to appreciate regardless of the end result.
“It was a letdown for everybody, but it was a great experience,” said Moore, who sits on the back seat of the bike as a stoker, the person who generates a lot of the bike’s power. “Getting to know Chester and Michael and hanging out with them, we’re competitors but we’re not competitors. We’re not in the same league. Even if I was, it still wouldn’t be any different. There’s a lot of ‘Let’s see if I can beat you this time!’ and that kind of stuff that I would say to them.”
Moore is already back at his shop repairing bikes, a job that he’s still quite good at despite his extremely limited vision.
The bronze medal that he won in Minneapolis hasn’t been too far out of his reach, either, sitting in his backpack only a couple of feet away from the stand he puts each bike on.
“My expression shows it and I’m smiling about this whole thing,” Moore said as he proudly held his medal in his right hand.
Throughout the spring, Moore and Sanchez worked out on different ends of Oregon as they prepared themselves for the U.S. team trials. They traveled around the United States and then over to Europe for events, for competition at the given moment and to build toward peaking this past weekend for their U.S. Paralympic team pursuit.
Before the U.S. time trials, Moore and Sanchez raced in Belgium, where some of the best tandem racing teams would be competing and, as Sanchez previously said, would give them a good idea of their standing as a team heading into the Team USA qualification process.
Moore and Sanchez finished 25th at the May 6-9 event in Belgium.
“That was really exciting,” Moore said of the trip. “That was like being at the Paralympics because you have all these world-class athletes that you’re riding against. In the road race, I have no idea where we are because part of it is in the town and part of it is in the highway, and we did that for three laps. Going into the fourth lap, my legs were giving out and we had ridden two hours the day before — we shouldn’t have done that.
“A photo shows me next to the Spanish team and the Greek team … and I’m riding side-by-side with them,” Moore continued. “Then we’re going up the hill and another photo shows us and they’re all behind us. Mark-Anthony, he’s an aggressive rider, and I like that. Had we not ridden that day and for that long, I think we could have stayed with them another two or three laps.”
Upon returning home, Moore set out to make some tweaks in his training regimen so that any sort of fading late in a race wouldn’t happen again.
“Coming back, my focus was to learn a lot off that (trip to Belgium),” Moore said. “I told my coach I needed to develop more watts, more power. I felt like I did gain more watts. I felt like my training really helped me.”
It didn’t take Moore long to see the results of the training changes.
Same goes for alterations he and Sanchez made in the build-up the week of the Team USA time trials.
Moore and Sanchez worked on more rest, giving themselves — especially Moore — a little extra time to recover in between rides.
It paid off for them.
Moore and Sanchez finished the course, which was just under 25 miles, in 46 minutes, 51.14 seconds. It was well off the pace set by Triplett and Bissette — who won the MB division with a time of 37:31.01.
“That was the fastest time trial we’ve ever done,” Moore said. “It was just a hair under 25 miles and we did it in 46 minutes. That’s like 31 or 32 mph, and it wasn’t a flat course. The other guys did it in 40 minutes. We did really well. I felt great, Mark-Anthony felt great.”
Moore said his next race will come in a couple of weeks in Boise, Idaho, when he and Sanchez compete in the USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships. The event, which runs July 8-10, is something that Moore is already gearing toward.
“I’m looking forward to whatever adventure is ahead of me,” said Moore, who added he also wants to try indoor track events in the near future.
No matter what’s next for Moore a year from now, he knows that it will most likely be wherever his bike takes him.
And like a true racer, he’s got the need for speed.
“I was telling the cab driver this morning — and she follows me a lot with the racing — that I used to not like time trialing because it’s a hard sport, but I sure like it now,” Moore said. “I like the speed, I like the 30 mph stuff and the rippin’ stuff. I can see the lines (out of the corner of my eyes) and that’s what accelerates me. Mark-Anthony and I, we’ve both gotten faster and we both like speed.”
Reach Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.