Higgins, Simes win points races at 2013 Elite Mass Start Track Nationals

  
  


Rock Hill, S.C. (Aug. 23, 2013) -- Two more national champions were crowned on the second day of racing at the 2013 USA Cycling Elite Mass Start Track National Championships. Finals in the men's and women's points race were held before a large crowd on a beautiful Friday evening at the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, S.C.
 
Jackie Simes (Alburtis, Pa./Pure Energy Racing) and Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./ExergyTWENTY16) used two different race strategies to exact the same result -- a Stars-and-Stripes jersey at the end of the grueling points race.
 
In the 160-lap men's points race, Simes, who captured the men's scratch race the previous night, went off the front with under 30 laps to go in an effort to gain the big 20-point bonus and it paid off. Simes caught the pack with six laps remaining to earn the necessary points and give him his second gold medal in as many nights.
 
"It's definitely better than I'd hoped for coming into here," Simes said. "To have two jerseys already is incredible. I wasn't really sure about it (the break) until a few laps before I caught them. I was sitting there at a half lap off the front for probably 20 laps or so, not really gaining anything, but not losing anything either. Just in the last 10 laps guys started to crack in the field a little more and I was able to get around. I think having Bobby (Lea) and I both up there fighting for the win is really what enabled me to do that."
 
Simes finished with 46 points while teammate Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./Pure Energy Racing) took the silver with 27 points and Zachary Kovalcik (Portland, Ore./Sizzle Pie Cycling p/b Veloforma) finished in third place with 25 points.

 
Cari Higgins salutes the crowd after winning the points race
Cari Higgins salutes the crowd after winning the points race. (photo by Weldon Weaver)
Higgins, a silver medalist in the points race at last year's national championships, accumulated consistent points throughout the 100-lap race. Her strategy paid off even though several other riders earned the huge 20-point bonus for lapping the field midway through the race.
 
"It was a fun race," said Higgins. "Tactically, I had to think a lot during the race because I wasn't in the group that lapped the field. So there was a lot of thinking and it makes it even more special when you actually don't dominate the race and you have to think about every sprint you're taking. It was a thinking match tonight for sure and those who came up on top were definitely on top of their game as far as strategy."
 
Higgins finished with 33 points, ahead of a heated battle for the other two podium spots as three riders -- Jessica Prinner (South Elgin, Ill./CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon Corp.), Kate Wilson (Los Angeles, Calif./Home Depot Center Team) and Higgins' teammate Jacquelyn Crowell (Maitland, Fla./ExergyTWENTY16) -- all finished tied with 27 points apiece. However, Prinner and Wilson crossed the line ahead of Crowell on the final lap to clinch the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
 
Competition concludes on Saturday evening with finals in the men's and women's Madison, women's keirin and men's sprint. For a complete race schedule click here.
 
2013 USA Cycling Elite Mass Start Track Championships
Giordana Velodrome – Rock Hill, S.C.
August 22-24, 2013

RESULTS | PHOTOS
 
Men's Points Race
1. Jackie Simes (Alburtis, Pa./Pure Energy Racing) 46
2. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./Pure Energy Racing) 27
3. Zachary Kovalcik (Portland, Ore./Sizzle Pie Cycling p/b Veloforma) 25
 
Women's Points Race
1. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./ExergyTWENTY16) 33
2. Jessica Prinner (South Elgin, Ill./CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon Corp.) 27
3. Kate Wilson (Los Angeles, Calif./Home Depot Center Team) 27
 
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This Article Published August 23, 2013 For more information contact:
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