Bill Thompson of West Hartford will race in the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Albi, France, from Aug. 24-27, 2017.
By Joy Taylor, photos courtesy of Bill Thompson and Cynthia Wolcott
At age 59, Bill Thompson is as fit as a 30-year-old.
An attorney for The Hartford by day, Thompson can be spotted daily on his two wheels in all kinds of weather on his commute to and from West Hartford. On evenings and weekends, Thompson keeps fit with treks to Massachusetts and in the hills of Connecticut, and he also participates in races all over New England, Canada, and the country.
And now he is headed to France to represent Team USA in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
“I traveled to northern Alabama in May to race in the only US qualifier race – the Cheaha Challenge – a 100-mile race with 10,000 feet of climbing,” explained Thompson as he also noted that his favorite parts of racing are the climbs. “I was third in my age group and also won the king of the mountains prize for my age group too.”
While his list of past injuries (including two broken collar bones and a few cracked ribs, and a broken thoracic vertebra, among other bumps and bruises from biking), hasn’t stopped him, his partner Cynthia Wolcott can’t help but worry.
Wolcott, a certified yoga instructor and singer, met Thomspon during the end of racing season, and they hit it off immediately. She loved that they shared a common interest in fitness and healthy lifestyles.
The age category that Thompson falls into for the Albi race is 55-59, putting him among the oldest in his group. He expects to race with about 250 others and hopes the race is staggered well, as logistics of coordinating that many racers is a challenge on narrow roads.
Always looking to the future with enthusiasm, with a twinkle in his eye Thompson said he will be happy to be the youngest in his age group next year when he jumps up to the 60+ category for all of his races.
Feeling more excited than nervous, a confident Bill Thompson headed to France on Sunday, and West Hartford will be rooting for him!
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