ATLANTA -- Camilo Villegas has no plans to challenge Lance Armstrong, but the
Colombian who won the BMW Championship has caught the rush of cycling.
Featured in Men's Fitness as one of the most finely conditioned athletes on
the PGA Tour, one can imagine golf's Spiderman all decked out in bike shorts
and jersey, hair flying out of his helmet.
"It's a new thing," Villegas explained at East Lake GC, where he goes into
the final round of the Tour Championship in a tie for fourth place. "I went
home five months ago and one of my buddies calls me up. He got a cycle and
said, 'Let's go up the mountain,' this mountain I used to drive up to get to
the golf course. I didn't know if I was going to make it, but when I got to
the top, I said, 'I love this thing.' "
Villegas returned to his new home in Jupiter, Fl., and bought an exotic road
bicycle. Three days later he called the bicycle shop, saying, "Listen, I
need a group to motivate me and get better." Next thing Villegas knew, he
was geared up and part of a cycling club that meets four days a week and
goes on rides up through Jupiter Island and along the coast of Florida for
rides of 35-60 miles, sometimes at upwards of 32 MPH.
"It's not easy," he said. "The first time I went out I was able to keep up
and man, that motivated me so much. I started working to get better, then, I
bought another bike. I sent the first one to Colombia so in Florida I ride
against the wind and in Colombia, I get to go up the mountain. It's so
peaceful. It's pretty sweet."
*--Tim Rosaforte *
(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)