IT TOOK Shane Miller 25 years to try competitive cycling, but it hasn't taken him long to win a national title.
Miller, 31, formerly of Horsham, took up competitive road cycling four years ago after moving to Melbourne.
On October 2 he won the Individual Road Time Trial at the Australian Masters Road Cycling championship in Canberra.
Miller rides in the Masters1 section for cyclists aged 30 to 35.
He said the title was a great honour.
"I had won the Victorian title earlier this year so I thought I would be around the mark," he said.
"With the internet it is pretty easy to check your competitors' times but I knew it would still be a tough race, which it was."
Miller said the event was raced in searing heat.
"We had just had late-season snow in Victoria and I was training in temperatures around 12 degrees or less," he said.
"Then we got to Canberra and it was 29 degrees. It made the racing very tough.
"The New South Wales champion almost caught me at the halfway mark but I was able to get away from him in the second part of the race and win by 26 seconds."
Miller said he never aimed to start competitive cycling.
"I used to ride my bike from one end of Baillie Street to the other going to and from school," he said.
"Then I would ride up and down Remlaw Road on weekends, but that was just for fun.
"When I moved to Melbourne for work I would ride along a few different paths and I met some people and did some road cycling with them and it all went from there."
Miller said the extra riding had been great for his health.
"I am not a naturally fit person," he said. "I have lost about 15 kilograms since I started competitive cycling.
"It makes it a lot easier to ride up hills."
Miller has found his niche in individual time trials.
"We use the special helmets and wheel discs," he said.
"I have had some success in them.
"It doesn't come natural to me, I have had to put in a lot of work.
"I raced in the Victorian Masters Series this year and won overall, time trial and road medals."
Miller returned to Horsham this past weekend to visit family and he said he looked forward to more success on the bike.
"I will ride in the Tour of Bright and a few other races," he said.
"If you had of told me I would have done this well when I started racing four years ago I would never have believed it."
The World Masters Games was officially opened in Sydney last night.