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Photo ©: Bettini

2005 US National Track Championships - CN

Los Angeles, California, August 10-13, 2005

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Day 3 - August 12: Women: 500m; Points Race, Men: Team Pursuit; Sprint

Controversial DQ as Northwestern Mortgage takes team pursuit

Reed, Alfred & Hammer champions in 500m, sprint & points

By Eddie Monnier

Women's 500-meter TT

Jennie Reed
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
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Jennie Reed (Gregg's Trek-VW) took her second sprint-oriented national title this year by winning the women's 500-meter time-trial. She was much more closely matched in this event than in the 200-meter sprint qualifications, as her margin of victory over Anna Lang (Big City Velo) was in the hundredths of a second. Martha Dunne (Jelly Belly) rode a 38.088 to win the bronze, while Miranda Duff (Rubicon) and Becky Quinn (Southbay Wheelmen) completed the podium.

Twenty-seven year old Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Wolverine Sports Club) finished in 6th place to match her placing in the sprints. Not a bad start for this in-line skater turned track cyclist three weeks ago. But then again, with 29 (yes, twenty-nine) in-line skating world championships to her name, she clearly has tremendous athletic ability. In skating, she dominated the distance events, so eventually decided to skate sprints, too. Was is a stretch? Apparentely not. Her world champion titles cover distances from 1K to 42K. She also holds the world record for the 42K (~54:13). Look for more from this talented athlete over the next few years as she chases her dream of being an Olympian (in-line skating is not an Olympic sport). "I'm just trying to learn as much as I can right now." She still skates the professional circuit in Europe, but retired from world championship events in 2003. She has a short break in her skating season now, while most others prepare for the world championships, so she decided to give track cycling a try.

Men's Sprint Finals

Stephen Alfred
Photo ©: Dana Ross
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Angelo Martorell went practically from the bell in the men's 5-8 sprints. Defending champion Michael Blatchford finally gave chase, and Giddeon Massie came over top for the final podium spot.

Fastest qualifier Christian Stahl (CKR Racing) took the first ride over teammate Ryan Nelman in heat-1. But Nelman delivered an 11.118 200-meter time in heat 2 to even the heat, much to everyone's surprise. Then, in heat 3, Nelman went even faster (11.060). Unable to answer, Stahl was sent packing to the bronze medal final, where he appeared tired and lost to Belz in two straight.

Nelman (19) continued to dig deep and delivered another upset by taking the experienced former national champion Stephen Alfred (Wyndham Hard Time) in ride-1. The more experienced Alfred rose to the challenge to force a third ride, and reclaim his national title.

Oddly the Espoir match sprint medals are not based on results in the sprints (with non-qualifiers based on 200-meter times). Rather, they are based purely on 200-meter times. So, fastest qualifier but fourth place finisher Stahl was awarded the U23 sprint champion title. He felt Nelman, second overall, was more deserving and gave him the jersey and medal. The two then posed for pictures together.

Men's Team Pursuit

Team Northwest Mortgage
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
Click for larger image

In the bronze medal ride, TIAA-CREF (Pearce, Frischkorn, Yezefski, Mitchell) faced composite squad Recycled Cycles (Garrett, Clarke, Lingwood, Starr). The latter came out swinging in a big way and opened with a ripping fast pace. Undaunted, Colby Pearce piloted his team to a strong, steady pace and the Recycled Cycles eventually cracked and were overtaken between turns one and two.

In the gold/silver ride, Texas Roadhouse (Gunn, Vogt, Huff, Williams) opened faster than in their qualifying heat and on even pace with Northwestern Mortgage (Nelessen, Friedman, Lea, Miller). J-Me Carney's team opened the throttle with 1:04.5, 1:04.5 and 1:03.6 flying kilos for 2-4K. Texas Roadhouse kept the pressure on and remained within a second with just a kilometer to go. In spite of only having three guys, they only lost a second in the final kilometer. It was really an impressive effort from a composite squad.

Early in the week, J-Me had predicted it would take a 4:20 to win. When asked whether he was happy with the team's time, he commented "Once we got here, basically, I said, 'Let's just ride what we know we can do and finish with four.'" The team still hopes to meet the time standard of 4:15 set for the talent pool. "We're hoping to come back out in September to train and so we can try to meet the time standard (4:15) at the next qualifer (Oct. 7th and 8th)."

Just before the awards ceremony, the Recycled Cycles team was summoned by the chief judge, who informed them that they may be disqualified for failing to abide by rule 3.2.097, which states:

"When the commissaires see that a team is about to be caught, they shall, in order to avoid a collision with the other team or hinder its progress, signal to the former team with a red flag that it may not effect any more relays and remain at the bottom of the track until the opposing team has passed.

Any failure to act on this instruction shall result in the immediate disqualification of the team."

Prior to the finals, a rider's representative from each team was notified that if the team saw a red flag, it must not exchange. However, in this case, the flag on the home straight was green, not red.

The team protested the disqualification with the following letter:

"With regards to rule 3.2.097, outlining courses of action in the team pursuit:

Recycled Cycles was not warned with a red flag as required by aforementioned rule '...signal to the former team with a RED flag...' A green flag was shown on the homestretch, but there is no stipulation for what a green flag means, There was no red flag, nor was there any other means of notification that the team would be passed at that time The team regrets the confusion but protests disqualification on the grounds that rule 3.2.098 was not implemented correctly.

The race jury upheld the disqualification and responded with:

The winning team
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
Click for larger image

"1) Red flag was out on the backstraight (same side as start) and almost touched one of the riders (coming off) but was held above him for the others 2) Announcer clearly stated, "no exchangees may take place as the red flag is out" 3) Immediately following, the exchange took place in turn 2 as the other team was overtaking. This was a dangerous move. 4). Rules clearly call for a DQ. One team member was at the morning meeting and received the information.

Decision stands."

As a consequence, Recycled Cycles was disqualified, which left a lot of people shaking their heads. The small crowd and many riders showed support for the team by applauding for them after the awards ceremony, in which they could not participate.

Women's 100-lap Points Race

Sarah Hammer - head down and flying
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
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The women's points race was probably the most exciting domestic women's points race this reporter has seen. The attacks were frequent and hard. The pace opened pretty quickly as Lauren Franges bridged to Melissa Sanborn who had a half lap lead before blowing. Franges kept clawing away at it and after what seemed like an eternity, she finally took a lap at 64-laps to go. Sarah Hammer (BT Bicycles) attacked immediately but was covered by Rebecca Quinn (Southbay Wheelmen), who made the bridge in two laps. Erin Mirabella (Bicycle John's) was chasing solo with the field chasing hard but further adrift.

The field soon scooped everyone up, which prompted an attack by Tina Pic (Quark). As soon as she was caught, Kori Seehafer (T-Mobile) attacked and became the second rider to take a lap a few laps ahead of the 40-to-go sprint. At this point, Franges led the race with 25 points, with Mirabella in second at 11 points and Pic at 10. With just six points, Sarah Hammer scorched the boards en route to taking the sprint to move on par with Pic and then kept going. With an impressive display of speed, she took only five laps to take a lap on the field and move even on laps with Franges and Seehafer, but into first on points with 31. Seehafer battled back to take the sprint with 20 laps remaining and move to within six points of Hammer and just one point behind Franges. Hammer and Franges increased the gap by placing third and fourth on the next to last sprint. This put Hammer more than five points ahead, but just for good measure she took second on the final sprint, which was won by Quinn. Quinn's second and first places in the final two sprints vaulted her over Pic and Mirabella and into fourth place.

T-Mobile road pro Seehafer clearly had fun (and success) in just her second points race ever. "The national team has been trying recruit a lot of road riders to ride the track, to try to get more people involved with it...I was nervous, but it was fun...I'll definitely be back."

Hammer "Having the road girls out there made it more like an international race..I'm all for the stronger girls coming out here. They rode very well...Let's just say, I had to work hard out there."

Speed and endurance on show in morning sesson

By Eddie Monnier

Men's Sprint qualifiers & heats

Nate Loyal (Sotheby’s) Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
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Forty riders faced off in the men's 200 meter qualifying times, with only the top-16 advancing to the sprint heats. Angelo Martorell set a quick mark of 11.335 that remained fastest through half of the heats, until 45 year-old Alphonso Whaley ripped off an impressive 11.219. With many of the top riders to come, the times started falling quickly.

Quist lowered the time to an 11.174. A few heats later Nelman was first to go under 11 with 10.828, which was immediately bettered by 37 year-old Stephen Alfred who floored it to 10.79. Only newly crowned kilo champion Christian Stahl and defending champion Michael Blatchford remained. Stahl delivered a blistering PR of 10.667 and moved to the top of the board. Blatchford rode a disappointing 10.819 to qualify third fastest.

There were no big surprises in the 1/8 finals, but that wouldn't hold true for the 1/4 finals. Stahl dispatched Martorell, who was feeling a bit tired from racing abroad. Stephen Alfred sent teammate Alphonso Whaley to the 5-8 ride. Following the two oldest guys in the competition, the two youngest would duel. Belz (21), fourth in 2004, upset defending champion Michael Blatchford (19), who may be suffering repercussions from his fall in the keirin heats. Another youngster, Ryan Nelman (19) took Massie by a tire width in a photo finish, kicking him out of the top four for the first time in five years.

Men's Team Pursuit Qualifications

Northwest Mortgage Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
Click for larger image

With only five teams contesting the team pursuit, only one team would fail to ride the medal round. First up, XXX/Athletico rode a 4:52. Recycled Cycles immediately eclipsed them with a 4:39.018 on their first time riding together. TIAA-CREF rode a 4:29.402. Texas Roadhouse, riding in the next-to-last qualifying heat, had to smoke the last two kilometres to overcome almost a three second deficit to TIAA-CREF and guarantee a Gold/Silver ride. With three of the top four individual pursuit finishers, they poured on the gas and ripped off final kilometer times of 1:04.886 and 1:03.802 to overcome the TIAA-CREF young guns by 1.4 seconds. Northwestern Mortgage rode last and looked like a well-oiled machine, firing off flying kilometer splits of 1:05.2, 1:05.3 and 1:05.4 to deliver a fastest qualifying time of 4:25.932.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Dana Ross/www.danarossphoto.com

Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com


Women 500m TT
1 Jennie Reed (Gregg's Trek/Volkswa)             37.171 (48.425km/h)
2 Anna Lang (Big City Velo)                      37.212 (48.371km/h)
3 Martha Dunne (Jelly Belly)                     38.088 (47.259km/h)
4 Miranda Duff (Rubicon)                         38.196 (47.125km/h)
5 Becky Quinn (Southbay Wheelmen)                38.236 (47.076km/h)
6 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Wolverine Sports Clu)      38.613 (46.616km/h)
7 Nancy Lux (BMW/Bianchi)                        39.007 (46.146km/h)
8 Heather Vanvalkenburg (Sorella Forte)          39.551 (45.511km/h)
9 Jen Featheringill (Bike Central)               39.582 (45.475km/h)
10 Melissa Sanborn (Subway)                      39.737 (45.298km/h)
11 Jamie Pettinato (Radical Media)               39.790 (45.237km/h)
12 Jennifer Triplett (Greggs/Trek)               39.850 (45.169km/h)
13 Kara Vidaca (Southbay Wheelmen)               39.980 (45.023km/h)
14 Shelby Allen (Home Depot Center)              40.025 (44.972km/h)
15 Amara Boursaw (Greggs/Trek)                   40.470 (44.477km/h)
16 Katrina Vogel (Byrne Speciality Gas)          40.531 (44.410km/h)
17 Brooke Wilson (Somerset Wheelmen)             41.531 (43.341km/h)
18 Julia Kastner (Southern Elite)                42.190 (42.664km/h)
Women points race
1 Sarah Hammer
2 Lauren Franges
3 Kori Seehafer
4 Becky Quinn
5 Erin Mirabella
6 Tina Pic
7 Melissa Sanborn
8 Anna Webb
9 Annette Hanson
10 Theresa Cliff-Ryan
90 To Go
1 Tina Pic                                       5
2 Erin Mirabella                                 3
3 Becky Quinn                                    2
4 Miranda Duff                                   1
5 Theresa Cliff-Ryan                             0
80 To Go
1 Melissa Sanborn                                5
2 Erin Mirabella                                 3
3 Becky Quinn                                    2
4 Nicole Raspa                                   1
5 Nancy Lux                                      0
70 To Go
1 Lauren Franges                                 5
2 Lara Kroepsch                                  3
3 Becky Quinn                                    2
4 Sarah Hammer                                   1
5 Annette Hanson                                 0
60 To Go
1 Sarah Hammer                                   5
2 Becky Quinn                                    3
3 Erin Mirabella                                 2
4 Anna Webb                                      1
5 Annette Hanson                                 0
50 To Go
1 Tina Pic                                       5
2 Erin Mirabella                                 3
3 Annette Hanson                                 2
4 Theresa Cliff-Ryan                             1
5 Becky Quinn                                    0
40 To Go
1 Sarah Hammer                                   5
2 Becky Quinn                                    3
3 Anna Webb                                      2
4 Lauren Franges                                 1
5 Annette Hanson                                 0
30 To Go
1 Jennifer Triplett                              5
2 Annette Hanson                                 3
3 Tina Pic                                       2
4 Becky Quinn                                    1
5 Erin Mirabella                                 0
20 To Go
1 Kori Seehafer                                  5
2 Theresa Cliff-Ryan                             3
3 Melissa Sanborn                                2
4 Erin Mirabella                                 1
5 Cassandra Holman                               0
10 To Go
1 Erin Mirabella                                 5
2 Becky Quinn                                    3
3 Sarah Hammer                                   2
4 Lauren Franges                                 1
5 Anna Webb                                      0
1 Becky Quinn                                    5
2 Sarah Hammer                                   3
3 Anna Webb                                      2
4 Erin Mirabella                                 1
5 Theresa Cliff-Ryan                             0
Team pursuit qualifiers
1 Northwest Mortgage                             4.25.932 (54.149km/h)
Ryan Miller
Mike Friedman
Bobby Lea
Elliot Gaunt
2 Texas Roadhouse                                4.28.011 (53.729km/h)
Curtis Gunn
Dan Vogt
Brad Huff
Kenny Williams
3 TIAA-CREF                                      4.29.402 (53.452km/h)
Will Frischkorn
Chad Hartley
Todd Yezefski
Nate Mitchell
4 Recycled Cycles                                4.39.018 (51.610km/h)
Leif Clarke
Adrian Hegyvary
Mike Garrett
Walker Starr
5 XXX/Athletico                                  4.52.764 (49.186km/h)
George Langford
Randal Warren
Shane Winn
Marc Zionts
Team pursuit finals
Final for 3rd & 4th

1 TIAA-CREF                                      4.39.685 (51.486km/h)
Colby Pearce
Will Frischkorn
Todd Yezefski
Nate Mitchell
DSQ Recycled Cycles
Mike Garrett
Leif Clarke
Jimmy Lingwood
Walker Starr

Final for 1st & 2nd

1 Northwest Mortgage                             4.21.898 (54.983km/h)
Guillaume Nelessen
Mike Friedman
Bobby Lea
Ryan Miller
2 Texas Roadhouse                                4.23.695 (54.609km/h)
Curtis Gunn
Dan Vogt
Brad Huff
Kenny Williams
Men sprint 200m qualifying
1 Christian Stahl (CKR Racing)                   10.667 (67.498km/h)
2 Stephen Alfred (Wyndham Hard Time)             10.790 (66.728km/h)
3 Michael Blatchford (Veloworx)                  10.813 (66.587km/h)
4 Ryan Nelman (CKR Racing)                       10.820 (66.543km/h)
5 Giddeon Massie (Cody Racing)                   10.837 (66.439km/h)
6 Kevin Belz (CKR Racing)                        10.992 (65.502km/h)
7 Anton Quist (Wyndham-HardTime)                 11.174 (64.435km/h)
8 Alphonso Whaley (Wydham-Hard Time)             11.219 (64.177km/h)
9 Angelo Martorell (Southbay Wheelmen)           11.335 (63.520km/h)
10 Stephen McLaughry (Bike Central)              11.408 (63.114km/h)
11 James Tainter (Loon State Cyclists)           11.425 (63.020km/h)
12 Carl Boucher (Cody Racing)                    11.499 (62.614km/h)
13 Matt Diefenbach (Doinhardtime 2)              11.617 (61.978km/h)
14 Timo Budarz (Veloworx Racing)                 11.623 (61.946km/h)
15 Tom Hanley (Bikesource)                       11.628 (61.920km/h)
16 Dean Tracy (Rubicon)                          11.661 (61.744km/h)
17 Ryan Watson (Team Watson)                     11.685 (61.617km/h)
18 Adam Smith (Guinness)                         11.706 (61.507km/h)
19 Daniel Lionberg (Beans & Barley Cycli)        11.726 (61.402km/h)
20 Mike Garrett (Kahala-LaGrange)                11.786 (61.089km/h)
21 Ryan Mertens (Unattached)                     11.805 (60.991km/h)
22 Matthew Ewing (Barcardi/NUVO)                 11.829 (60.867km/h)
23 Chris Ferris (sub11)                          11.893 (60.540km/h)
24 Tonatiuh Rodriguez-Nikl (Big City Velo)       11.902 (60.494km/h)
25 Daniel Reback (Team Velocity)                 11.906 (60.474km/h)
26 Sergei Cemenenkoff (Southbay Wheelmen)        11.914 (60.433km/h)
27 Eduardo Cocina (Unattached)                   11.936 (60.322km/h)
28 Chad Millikan (Taylor Made 24Hour F)          11.943 (60.286km/h)
29 Jason Romain (Indiana Flyers/Sound)           12.079 (59.608km/h)
30 Mike Lifshotz (Z's Bikes and Fitnes)          12.082 (59.593km/h)
31 Nick Chenowith (Wydham-Hard Time)             12.169 (59.167km/h)
32 Maxwell Larson (Silver Cycling)               12.243 (58.809km/h)
33 Robert Pelegrin (Veloworx Racing)             12.298 (58.546km/h)
34 Greg Howe (BT Bicycles)                       12.376 (58.177km/h)
35 Chris Endres (Grand Performance /)            12.389 (58.116km/h)
36 Brian Crosby (University of Minnes)           12.471 (57.734km/h)
37 Eric Manuel (GS Tenzing)                      12.497 (57.614km/h)
38 Nate Loyal (Sotheby's)                        13.039 (55.219km/h)
Men sprint Semi Final
Heat 1 Race #1
1 Christian Stahl                                11.478 (62.729km/h)
2 Ryan Nelman
Heat 1 Race #2
1 Ryan Nelman                                    11.118 (64.760km/h)
2 Christian Stahl
Heat 1 Race #3
1 Ryan Nelman                                    11.060 (65.099km/h)
2 Christian Stahl
Heat 2 Race #1
1 Stephen Alfred                                 11.304 (63.694km/h)
2 Kevin Belz
Heat 2 Race #2
1 Stephen Alfred                                 11.126 (64.713km/h)
2 Kevin Belz
Men sprint finals
Final Ride for 3rd and 4th Race #1
1 Kevin Belz                                     11.150 (64.574km/h)
2 Christian Stahl
Final Ride for 3rd and 4th Race #2
1 Kevin Belz                                     11.709 (61.491km/h)
2 Christian Stahl
Final Ride for 1st and 2nd Race #1
1 Ryan Nelman                                    11.491 (62.658km/h)
2 Stephen Alfred
Final Ride for 1st and 2nd Race #2
1 Stephen Alfred                                 11.204 (64.263km/h)
2 Ryan Nelman
Final Ride for 1st and 2nd Race #3
1 Stephen Alfred                                 11.194 (64.320km/h)
2 Ryan Nelman
Ride for 5th-8th
1 Giddeon Massie                                 12.043 (59.786km/h)
2 Michael Blatchford
3 Angelo Martorell
4 Alphonso Whaley

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