Juniors Track National Championships underway in PA


Matt Valencia (Team Specialized/Los Altos, CA) and Evelyn Korbich (Young Medalists/Team Rothrock/New Triploi, Pa.) earned the only gold medals awarded on the opening day of the 2012 USA Cycling Juniors Track National Championships on Wednesday at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. Both cyclists won the points races in the 15-16 age division.
The 15-16 men put on a show for the crowd in Wednesday's points race at Juniors Track Nationals.
The 15-16 men put on a show for the crowd in Wednesday's points race at Juniors Track Nationals.
Valencia, who won gold medals in the 13-14 scratch race and omnium in 2010 before bypassing junior nationals to compete in Belgium last year as part of USA Cycling’s National Development Program, received a boost by staying at the home of Olympic gold medalist and Valley Preferred Cycling Center executive director Marty Nothstein prior to the competition when Valencia’s coaches couldn’t make the trip.
“My mom got here [Wednesday] but my coaches couldn’t come,” Valencia said. “I’ve been staying at Marty’s house and since I didn’t have a coach here, he helped me. He just kept telling me who to watch. He told me I would have to mark Zeke Mostov [San Francisco, Calif./Slipstream-Craddock].
“About halfway through the race, Zeke and three or four riders got away from the field. I could tell it was splitting up. Me and Chazmichael Morales, we got about halfway to the breakaway group and I knew I had to be in it, especially with who was in that group. After we caught the main peloton, I saw Jake Silverberg leading it out for Zeke and I knew I needed to get the points to win.”
Valencia won with 37 points with Jordan Marhanka (Pickens, S.C./DIY Junior Development) second with 33 points and Mostov third with 29. 
Korbich  picked up her second career gold medal after winning the 2010 points race in the 13-14 class. Korbich, 16, was tied with Laurel Rathbun (Monument, Colo./JetCycling) with two sprints to go but got shut out of points in the penultimate sprint while Rathbun sneaked in for a point.
“My key was to make sure that you don’t let anyone else get away so that you can get those top points,” explained Korbich. “I saw her get points, so to beat her, I knew I had to get more points in the final sprint. I was just hoping I didn’t get second.”
Korbuch ended tied in points with Rathbun at 13, but won because of her victory in the final lap. Kristen Williams (Lonetree, Colo./Natural Grocers) was third. 
In other racing action on Wednesday, home-track riders Bailey Semian (Mertztown, Pa./Team TIBCO II) and Greg Ratzell (Blandon, Pa./Young Medalists) took the first day lead in the omniums in the 17-18 age group.
Semian celebrated her 17th birthday by winning the points race and taking second in the 200-meter time trial and the elimination race. Ratzell also took first in the points race and second in the 200-meter time trial and elimination race. Both riders made tactical errors on the final lap of the elimination race when they didn’t sprint for place because they thought they were on a free lap.
Thursday’s 9 a.m. session will include gold medal finals in the 500-meter time trial for 13-14, the start of the men’s and women’s sprint tournament for 15-16, and the individual pursuit for the 17-18 group in both the individual and omnium categories. 
The evening session on Thursday begins at 5 p.m. with gold medal finals in several events including the conclusion of the men’s and women’s omnium for 17-18-year-olds with the scratch race and time trial (500 meters for women, kilo for men), as well as individual gold medals in the scratch race and time trial for the rest for the 17-18 field. The 15-16 group will award medals in the sprints, and the 10-12 age group will have its first gold medal event with the 500-meter time trial.
The event runs through Sunday and more information, including start lists, schedule, results, photos and daily event recaps are available on the USA Cycling’s Juniors Track National Championships webpage. Follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #JrTrack and purchase event photos at cyclingcaptured.com.
Evelyn Korbich and Laurel	Rathbun stand atop the podium after an epic battle in the 15-16 women's points race.
Evelyn Korbich and Laurel Rathbun stand atop the podium after an epic battle in the 15-16 women's points race.
USA Cycling Juniors Track National Championships
Valley Preferred Cycling Center/Breinigsville, Pa.
July 11 – 14, 2012
Junior Men’s 15-16 Points Race
1. Matthew Valencia (Los Altos, Calif./Team Specialized Racing Juniors) 37
2. Jordan Marhanka (Pickens, S.C./DIY Junior Development Team p/b ABRC/Asheville Bicycle Racing Club) 33
3. Zeke Mostov (San Francisco, Calif./Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development) 29
4. Broderick Hartley (Lilburn, Ga./JET Cycling) 26
5. Gavin Hoover (Manhattan Beach, Calif./CPT) 20
Junior Women’s 15-16 Points Race
1. Evelyn Korbich (New Tripoli, Pa./Young Medalists-Team Rothrock) 13
2. Laurel Rathbun (Monument, Colo./JETCycling) 13
3. Kirsten Williams (Lonetree, Colo./Natural Grocers Cycling Team) 10
4. Lucia  Carreno (Ruidoso, N.M./Major Motion Cycling Club) 8
5. Payton Thomas (Grapevine, Texas/FCS Cycling) 7
 Photos: Anthony Skorochod/cyclingcaptured.com

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This Article Updated July 12, 2012 @ 11:13 AM For more information contact: