Junior Track Cycling Velodrome cycling for junior (18 and under) riders

August 30, 2004

Junior Worlds, Day 4, Women\’s Scratch Race

Filed under: ADT Event Center,Junior Worlds — Administrator @ 9:28 pm

Amid a long evening of sprints, it was good to see one mass-start event. This was the women’s 7.5k scratch race. About 15 women started what appeared to be a clean, aggressive, and fast event. There were some early attacks, followed by a strong two-rider break with the New Zealand and US riders. It looked like they had a real chance with 6 laps to go. As usual the break was swallowed up before the end and a sprinter took the race, but it was refreshing to see two riders take a real shot at a break. Sitting in the pack works well for dominant sprinters, but those who need to take a chance on a flyer are often the difference between an exciting race and a sleeper.

Choe Sun Ae, Kimberly Geist, Paddy Walker, and Stephanie Pohl in mid-race.
Choe Sun Ae, Kimberly Geist, Paddy Walker, and Stephanie Pohl in mid-race.

The pack is together after early attacks and before the US-New Zealand break.  Can you find the rider with blue and white sleeves and a yellow helmet, dead center in the pack?  That's Annalisa Cucinotta, the eventual winner.
The pack is together after early attacks and before the US-New Zealand break. Can you find the rider with blue and white sleeves and a yellow helmet, dead center in the pack? That's Annalisa Cucinotta, the eventual winner.

Paddy Walker leads Kim Geist in the break.
Paddy Walker leads Kim Geist in the break.

Choe Sun Ae of Korea and Jarmila Machacova of the Czech Republic (silver) lead the chase.  Bronze medalist Bianca Rogers is seen at left.
Choe Sun Ae of Korea and Jarmila Machacova of the Czech Republic (silver) lead the chase. Bronze medalist Bianca Rogers is seen at left.


A Velodrome in Japan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Administrator @ 5:17 pm

After Junior Worlds we visited Japan. It was mostly a noncycling trip, but of course we had to check out the local velodrome. In this case, that meant the amateur velodrome in Hachinohe (Aomori Prefecture, at the northern end of the main island, Honshu). You can walk up any time and see the track as shown in the panorama below.

The velodrome at Hachinohe.  Click for a larger view.  Please pardon the choppy stitching of the panorama - the original images were not well aligned.
The velodrome at Hachinohe. Click for a larger view. Please pardon the choppy stitching of the panorama - the original images were not well aligned.


Getting farther seems to be a little trickier. We had family who had lived in Hachinohe for a year, so we thought that we might be able to talk our way into a couple of laps around the track. After all, my brother-in-law works at a high school known for its athletics, and he was able to contact someone who knew about the track.

Unfortunately, the local team was traveling so our best “in” didn’t work out. We found some riders at the track one day, but they were apparently from Sapporo, and probably had neither the authority nor the inclination to let an unknown rider onto the track when they had a scheduled workout. Oh well, I hope our questions (we didn’t even get as far as asking for track access) didn’t annoy them too much. Interestingly, the bikes stored indoors were mostly pretty generic, but the visiting riders were on very nice equipment – Anchor frames and plenty of disk wheels were seen.

As you can see, the facility is quite nice. Remember that this is not one of Japan’s 50 professional Keirin velodromes, just an amateur facility in a city of about 240 thousand (location map and population reference). How many tracks in the US have an apron, a large warmup track, additional paved infield areas, a tunnel, and a two-story storage and training facility? The lack of any spectator seating emphasizes a different approach – most US tracks try to attract interest and/or raise money by encouraging spectators, but this track is all about training. Of course this track probably has funding from Keirin betting revenues, or direct from the government, something we can’t match in the US.

Facilities at Hachinohe Velodrome.  Slightly nicer than the old shipping containers used for storage at my home track.
Facilities at Hachinohe Velodrome. Slightly nicer than the old shipping containers used for storage at my home track.

Interior of the Velodrome building, with tons of bikes, indoor trainers, pace motorcycles, crunch board and free weight (mostly out of this picture) gear. I have no idea what's upstairs, but there's another whole floor to this building.
Interior of the Velodrome building, with tons of bikes, indoor trainers, pace motorcycles, crunch board and free weight (mostly out of this picture) gear. I have no idea what's upstairs, but there's another whole floor to this building.



All photography by Kathy Ryan.

August 29, 2004

Junior Worlds, Day 4, Team Pursuit

Filed under: ADT Event Center,Junior Worlds — Administrator @ 4:31 pm

Australia!

The Australian pursuit team: Simon Clarke, Michael Ford, Mitchell Docker, Matthew Goss, Miles Olman. Please inform me if these are out of order.
The Australian pursuit team: Simon Clarke, Michael Ford, Mitchell Docker, Matthew Goss, Miles Olman. Please inform me if these are out of order.


Junior Worlds, Day 4, Men\’s Sprints

Filed under: ADT Event Center,Junior Worlds — Administrator @ 4:16 pm

The big story here was Michael Blatchford versus Shane Perkins of Australia. With 8 racers qualifying under 11 seconds, all within a range 0.276 seconds wide, the whole sprint series was impressive. These two had the best qualifying times, and the endurance and skill to get through4 prior rounds to the gold medal race. Naturally the US-dominated crowed was excited, and Blatchford’s family and friends showed up en masse with their “Blatch patches” – pieces of cloth resembling Michael’s beard.

Blatchford fans, with matchings
Blatchford fans, with matchings



Michael won the first race, but lost the next two. The riders were so closely matched that the one who got the initial lead won each time. Perhaps Blatchford lost a little bit physically after so many rounds, but Perkins’ experience was equally likely as a deciding factor. Emotionally it was quite a night for the fans, with a good chance at gold followed by a feeling of complete loss, and finally the realization that silver at worlds is actually a very impressive result.
Michael Blatchford decisively wins race one of the final.
Michael Blatchford decisively wins race one of the final.

The riders ready for race 2
The riders ready for race 2

Shane Perkins in the lead to stay.
Shane Perkins in the lead to stay.



In the bronze medal round Maximilian Levy of Germany defeated K?vin Sireau of France in two rides.

Veloresults has results in bracket form [ No longer – veloresults apparently does not archive their information. Link removed 12/19/2004 – Ed.].

August 27, 2004

Junior Worlds, Day 4, Morning Session

Filed under: ADT Event Center,Junior Worlds — Administrator @ 10:45 pm

This morning (July 31 – I’m posting this nearly a month late) included the 200m timings for the women, described earlier, and round one of the pursuit. This determined the 4 teams to race for medals in the evening.

The team stalls on the infield were labeled by country. Most are empty on a morning with only two events.
The team stalls on the infield were labeled by country. Most are empty on a morning with only two events.

German pursuiters warm up, as the women sprinters cool down.
German pursuiters warm up, as the women sprinters cool down.

Germany approaching the Czechs on the straightaway, 3 laps to go
Germany approaching the Czechs on the straightaway, 3 laps to go

The catch. Germany overtakes the Czech Republic
The catch. Germany overtakes the Czech Republic

France gaining on the Netherlands
France gaining on the Netherlands

The USA pursuit team in their first turn, dropping into a paceline
The USA pursuit team in their first turn, dropping into a paceline

USA on a roll, turn 3 or 4
USA on a roll, turn 3 or 4

Australia catches the USA pursuit team
Australia catches the USA pursuit team

Australia's final push in the team pursuit, first round
Australia's final push in the team pursuit, first round


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