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National Championships

Day 1 national titles helping set path for Tokyo 2020

By: Tom Mahoney  August 05, 2018

CARSON, CALIF. AUGUST 3, 2018 — Day one of the 2018 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships were held today at the VELO Sports Center in Carson, Calif. Athletes contested four events; the men’s and women’s International Omnium, the men’s Sprint, and women’s Keirin. In three of those events, there were repeat national champions. For many athletes this national championship will kick off their path to compete in Tokyo. 

The International Omnium, which is an Olympic event, consists of 4 separate races: scratch race, tempo, elimination, and points. After the completion of the points race, the rider with the most points is deemed the winner.  Daniel Holloway (Boulder, Colo./Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team) bested a field beginning with 35, taking home another stars-and-stripes jersey. Holloway won this event last year at the VELO Sports Center. Speaking about his win, and what it may mean for his possible Olympic chances, Holloway said, “Anytime you get to put a [championship] jersey on your back its elating. The meaning of this one, and, you know, the steps and the opportunities it leads forward to are, is just huge in making that goal to Tokyo.” Coming in second was Shane Kline (Bally, Pa.), who started the points race 24 points back from second place, was able to take several laps during the course of the race to make up his deficit. Relative newcomer to the track, Ashton Lambie (Lawrence, Kan.) took home bronze. 

On the women’s side, Jennifer Valente (Colorado Springs, Colo./Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air) added to her already impressive jersey collection with a repeat of her 2017 title in the International Omnium. Valente, like Holloway, has her eyes on the 2020 Olympiad in Tokyo, whose track cycling events start in just under two years. “It’s definitely, it’s always great to win any race, and this is such a big stepping stone in the lead up to Tokyo, like, the first step in the pathway through Pan-Am’s and World Cups. So it’s definitely a big one”, said Valente about what winning the championship means for her long term path to Tokyo. Kim Geist (Emmaus, Pa./ The Velo Shop/LWA Racing), Valente’s teammate on the world record holding American team pursuit squad, placed second. Christina Birch (Los Angeles) came in third, battling it out with Geist and Valente until the end. 

The men’s Sprint semifinals were one upset after another, as the third- and fourth- seeded riders from this morning’s 200-meter qualifying ended up racing for the gold medal. Former Junior Men’s Sprint champion, Sandor Delgado (Hialeah, Fla./D Professional) won the Men’s Sprint event, after being seeded third in qualifying. Joe Christiansen (Lyons, Colo./Star Track Racing), fourth-seed after qualifying, took home silver, repeating his performance from last year’s event. James Mellen (Schnecksville, Pa./Sprinter’s Edge Track Development Team), winner of this event last year, placed third. 

Madalyn Godby (Louisville, Colo.) was able to defend her title in the women’s Keirin. Winning both her semifinal and the final rounds of the event, Godby dominated the event. Mandy Marquardt (Allentown, Pa./Team Novo Nordisk) came in second, and Allyson Wasielewski (Orefield, Pa./ Sprinter’s Edge Track Development Team) took home bronze. 

Sunday’s racing picks up with women’s Sprint, men’s Keirin, men’s and women’s Individual Pursuits and Points Races. You can follow the action on USA Cycling’s @usacycling Twitter account as well as the @usacycling Instagram account, and follow along with others posts by using the hashtag #TrackNats . 

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