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Super Walt is a record breaker
5:00pm Friday 26th October 2012 in Sport
WALTER Fowler may be 78-year-old but has proved it is never too late to learn.
The Kinver cyclist is once again toasting success after powering his way to gold in the over-75s category at the recent UCI World Masters in Manchester.
But an even greater achievement followed as he made a special attempt at the world record — with his time of 41.220 shaving more than half-a-second off the previous best set by Tom O’Rourke of the USA.
The time was even quicker than the one Fowler set to win the Masters back in 2008 and the Halesowen Cycling Club member attributes his increased speed to a new-found interest in technology.
He said: “I’d never really been one for the latest equipment or anything like that.
“But I came in for criticism from my fellow club members who said I should be wearing a streamlined helmet, wearing a better skinsuit and have the right wheels.
“Eventually, I decided to try some of these ideas out and the results speak for themselves.
“I’ve also had a far more focused training regime, going to the track three or four times a week and doing three intense rides.
“It’s fair to say it’s taken me a while to be convinced but it just goes to show you are never too old to take advice.”
Victory in Manchester was the latest in what has often been an incredible story for Fowler, who claimed silver at the 2010 event after a successful battle with cancer of the bladder — which was only diagnosed following a crash in training where he also suffered broke ribs.
The grandfather-of-two also successfully lobbied the UCI for the introduction of the over-75s category and is still campaigning have introduced at the British National Championships.
He has no plans to quit yet and has already vowed to defend his title next year.
Fowler added: “There are three excellent younger riders who will qualify for the over-75s category next year.
“It means I’m going to have my work cut out.
“But setting the new record has given me fresh impetus and renewed confidence.
“To be honest I hold the world record ride in higher regard than winning the Masters.
“I set breaking it as my target and to achieve it really was something special.”