South Australian Peter Varricchio has a long list of achievements, he is the reigning Masters State Team Trial Champion. He is a member of the Norwood Cycling Club and enjoys training and racing 15 hours a week, while still finding time to be a husband, father and podiatrist.
We spoke to Peter about his history in the sport, his love of Masters racing and his goals for the 2019 Masters Road National Championships.
Did you grow up cycling?
No, I grew up playing Soccer from the age of 12. I ended up playing at an elite level and representing the South Australian State under 14 and 15 team and I was involved with the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) when it first started for about two years.
I represented Campbelltown City and Croydon in the South Australian Premier League where my highest achievement was being selected in the final 25 players for the Australian under 17 Soccer Team for the World Cup. My brother Olivio, introduced me to cycling after I had 2 knee reconstructions on each knee and an arthroscopy.
Tell us a bit about Norwood CC and how they support their Masters riders?
I’m involved on the committee for the Club, I manage and direct the Chesser Chemicals Elite and Masters teams. We run weekly criteriums and races throughout the year, it’s such a great way to keep up your fitness, race hard and have some fun against your mates and competitors.
We support all riders all the way from juniors and elite riders to master’s level of both genders whether they are slow or fast.
Masters racing is fantastic, it’s a great way to meet new people especially as I came into the sport at 31 years old. Everyone is really driven to train and be fit to race and finding the balance between family and work is the key.
I think it's awesome especially on our training rides and races that I get to meet up with people like Rohan Dennis, Sam Welsford and race with fellow Masters riders like Steve McGlede who was a World Champion back in 1990.
Recently we even had Stephen Lane (HPTek Coaching) race as a guest rider in our current Super Series 2019 Team Time Trial Edition. Masters cycling gives me flexibility to train outdoors or on the ergo if the weather is bad, it also allows me to race whenever I like. Cycling doesn’t have to be lonely, we can ride with mates or competitors on bunch rides and team racing is fun and gives a sense of purpose for all riders. Everyone gets to feel like they have contributed in some way to achieving great racing results. Riders have their own strengths; and applying these can be tactical but immensely fun!
Why are you racing at Nationals and what are your goals for 2019?
I personally like being fit and healthy and being a good example for my family and kids is important. Setting goals and training for a purpose is also important to me.
For 2019 I would like to finish on the podium in the time trial as I feel it is my strength and is definitely my favourite event. It’s just me and the bike in a race against the clock which in my opinion is the hardest form of cycling and even if I just get a personal best then I will be super happy with that. I have also entered the road race and criterium to support this great event coming to SA.
Why Masters cycling?
I’m 41 years old and just racing for fun these days, however, I still enjoy racing A grade in our state and club races. I still love the competitive vibe and energy amongst the other Masters riders who share a common experience in our daily lives with family and work.
It’s fantastic to associate with different types of people (riders and volunteers) from all walks of life. We all share the same passion to train and race hard but most importantly have some fun along the way. And helping teammates make the most out of life and living through riding is rewarding. The camaraderie and coffee conversations are always enjoyable, to me It’s not always about winning!