If anyone wanted evidence that cycling keeps you fit and youthful then it's hard to go past Paul Odlin at 39.
"I don't think age is so much a factor. That doesn't come into it too much but if I was 59 it would probably make a difference," says Odlin, who is billeting with friends Kerri-anne and Josh Page in Hastings for the New Zealand and U23 Elite Road Racing Championship in Napier.
Kiwi rider Graeme Millar, the Cantabrian points out, had one of his best years when he was 40.
Odlin, who won the men's time trials at the nationals at his home circuit of Christchurch in 2012, says the prerequisite to glory is meticulous preparation right up to the race day.
"Basically you have to be close to the strongest in the field, really," he says after finishing fifth in a time of 52:57.00 yesterday in Taradale.
He didn't feel so great last month after going out a little too hard in training.
"I think I was a little too excited after the Tour of Southland and didn't come down quick enough," says the Power Net team member, who first got into competitive cycling in 1999 while pursuing a degree in physical education at Otago University.
"Mentally you just have to gee yourself up for it," he says.
Odlin did not find the wind an issue because he's a relatively big unit but coming from a province where they haven't received decent rain for almost three months, he approached the downpours with positivity.
"If you kind of get excited about the wind and rain in a masochistic sort of way it can actually help you."
His other cycling achievements include winning the 2013 Oceania time trial; becoming the 2012 Oceania road race champion; the sprint ace winner of the 2011 Tour de Korea; a stage win in the Trust House Tour of Wellington; a silver medal in the Elite Nationals time trial (2008); first overall in the 2007 Benchmark Homes series and five individual rounds since its inception in 2005; and two-time winner of the GrapeRide.
Odlin first got a feel for the Bay circuits in November 2015 and has returned since to a place where the roads are quiet.
"It's warm and it's great coming here to see my mates - I really love that part."
He won a silver in the elite men's time trial 2008 here but emphasises Paddy Bevin won it in 2016 and, akin to professionals, epitomises what it takes to be on another level.
Odlin says, unlike the women's road race, which Kerri-anne feels can become a lottery, the men's event has an air of unpredictability about it.
"Like the breaks are going to stay away or the main contender punches or crashes so lots of different things happen that can make it more variable."
Having fun and trying to finish the road race here tomorrow are his goals.
"I haven't finished many road championships."
The former Subway Cycling team member, who also rode professionally for Trek-Zookeepers Café and Calder Stewart among others, operates his own business, Odlin Cycle Coaching, aimed at mentoring any cyclist from beginner to elite-level to achieve their potential.
He did have professional aspirations overseas but says he lacked maturity after failing to build as an amateur in Belgium in 2002.
His services include one-on-one mentoring, internet-based individual programmes and riding with his athletes in group rides.
Odlin is an events manager, adding to his resume a robust Winter Worlds every Sunday in Canterbury for 13 weeks from May to August each year, involving 150 riders competing in A to E grades.