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Blend of young and old top the podiums at 2010 U.S. track nationals

There were some familiar faces standing atop the podiums during the 2010 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships this past week. But the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson, California, also saw some fresh young faces smiling above their freshly minted stars-and-stripes jerseys.

Veterans Bobby Lea (The Sports Team) and Sarah Hammer (Ouch Pro Cycling) dominated the omnium competition, held Wednesday and Thursday. Jame Carney won the men’s scratch race. And 2008 world keirin champion Jennie Reed (Gregg’s Cycles) rode to a stars-and-stripes jersey in the women’s scratch race.

But 17-year-old Matt Baranoski (Chester County Cycling) beat defending elite national champ Giddeon Massie (Bike Religion) in a thrilling keirin final. And 21-year-old Dana Fiess (Home Depot Center Team) collected two elite titles, her first, in the women’s keirin and sprint.

Sunday, October 3

Madison, team sprint

The women’s Madison debuted as an exhibition in 2009, but this year it was the real deal, and the Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12 duo of Reed and Cari Higgins took the first national title. Lake Washington Velo earned the silver medal while Cycle Loft Track Team took the bronze.

“It’s awesome that we have this event. It’s growing internationally for the women,” said Higgins. “It’s quite an honor and even a bigger honor to be able to race it with Jennie Reed.”

Racelab U-23 Cycling Team (Danny Heeley and Ian Moir) lapped the field once and won the last sprint to earn the national title ahead of Ouch 2 (Iggy Silva and Cody O’Reilly. Giddy Up Factor 5000’s Shane Kline and Carney took bronze.

Higgins earned a second stars-and-stripes jersey on Sunday in the women’s team sprint. She and Elizabeth Carlson beat Broadmark Momentum’s Tela Crane and Cristin Walker in the gold medal final with the bronze going to Amelia Bjesse Puffin and Anissa Cobb (Brian’s House of Pain).

The Pure Energy squad (Andy Lakatsoh,David Espinoza and Jimmy Watkins) took the final national title of the weekend, besting Momentum Coaching Group (Daniel Walker, Kevin Mansker, T.J. Mathieson and Dean Tracy) in the gold medal final of the men’s team sprint. Affinity Cycles duo Colin Prensky and Jon Linchitz won the bronze.

Saturday, October 2:

Men’s keirin, points races, women’s sprint

Baranoski, the reigning junior national champ in the keirin and bronze medalist at the 2010 worlds, added an elite national title to his hardware collection in Saturday’s national keirin championship.

“It’s just amazing because this was not expected at all,” Baranoski said before slipping into the stars-and-stripes jersey. “I was really just kind of aiming to make the final. If I did that, I was happy. So any kind of medal is icing on the cake for me. The jersey is just phenomenal.”

Massie had to settle for the silver ahead of bronze medalist Jimmy Watkins (Momentum Cycling).

In the men’s 30km points race, Daniel Holt (Team Type 1) and Shane Kline (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) lapped the field once and Holt won two of 12 sprints to take the national title with 30 points. Kline earned 20 points and the silver medal while Cody O’Reilly (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) rode to the bronze with 17 points.

The women’s points race saw Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty12 teammates Cari Higgins and Hanan Alves-Hyde dominate the 25km competition to take first and second, respectively.

“We just wanted the top of the podium no matter who it was,” Higgins said. “We had great teamwork as far as just reading each other, racing against each other but with each other.”

Higgins won three of the 10 sprints and crossed the finish line first, earning 23 points and the stars-and-stripes jersey. Alves-Hyde was second with 19 points while Kimberly Geist (Chester County Cycling Foundation) won the bronze medal.

In the women’s sprint, Fiess added a second elite title to her victory in Friday’s keirin. After qualifying in second place, she beat out Cristin Walker (Momentum Coaching Group) in the gold-medal round with Elizabeth Carlson (Classic Cycling Essentials) claiming bronze.

Friday, October 1:

Scratch races, individual pursuit, women’s keirin and men’s sprint

Reed, the 2008 world keirin champ, added a national title in the women’s scratch race to her palmares. She beat out silver and bronze medalists Colleen Hayduk (Verducci Breakaway Racing) and Jennifer Triplett (Broadmark Capitol Cycling) in a bunch sprint at the finish.

“There were a couple of girls who tried a couple things, but I think it was hard to get away because there were a lot of sprinters in the field,” Reed said. “So it ended up coming down to the bunch race. Usually when it comes down to that, I think I can come out on top.”

The men’s scratch race also came down to a bunch sprint, won by Carney. Taking the silver and bronze medals were Lea and John Simes (Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita)

In the women’s keirin, Feiss took her first national title, beating out five other women — including defending champ Christin Walker (Momentum Coaching Group). Anissa Cobb (River City Racing) took silver while Elizabeth Carlson (Classic Cycling Essentials) grabbed the bronze.

“I had a lot of experience racing this summer,” Feiss said. “Got to the line and said, ‘All right, I know what I have to do. Let’s get it done,’ and I rode my race just how I knew I could and it worked out really well.”

Adam Leibovitz (Marian University) rode to gold in the men’s pursuit ahead of silver medalist Daniel Harm (Lake Washington Velo). Roman Kilun (UnitedHealthcare) took the bronze.

In the women’s pursuit, it was Geist beating runner-up Higgins and Elizabeth Newell (Bell Lap Racing).

Thursday, September 30:

Kilometer and 500-meter time trials, team pursuit

2004 Olympian Massie won the men’s race, clocking 1:04.022 over the kilometer, compared to the 1:04.313 clocked by silver medalist David Espinoza (Affinity Cycles). Peter Billington (LTO Velo) was third.

In the women’s event, Liz Carlson (Classic Cycling Essentials) was victorious, covering the 500 meters in 36.878, nearly two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Feiss. Walker took third.

Ouch Pro Cycling Team squad won the men’s team pursuit by beating out Black Dog Pro Cycling Team in the gold-medal round. The Ouch contingent — Brent Kay, Cody O’Reilly, Daniel Harm, Austin Carroll and Roman Kilun — caught the Black Dog foursome of Kit Karzen, Ryan Luttrell, Ryan Sabga and Adam Leibovitz with six laps to go. The bronze went to John Walsh, Keith Ketterer, Collin Berry and Kevin Phillips, racing as One Young Guy & Three Old Guys.

Peanut Butter Twenty 12 squad took the women’s pursuit. Hanan Alves-Hyde, Ruth Winder and Cari Higgins out-rode Cali Girls Dena Eaton, Somersby Jenkins and Morgan Kapp for the national title. Bronze went to Webcor Alto-Velo —Haley Juno-Galdes, Andi Smith and Jane Wolcott.

Wednesday and Thursday, September 29-30:


Lea and Hammer ruled the omnium competition. Lea won four of the six men’s events while Hammer claimed five victories and one second-place finish — in the 500-meter time trial, to Cari Higgins (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty 12).

“It couldn’t have really gone any better for me,” Lea said. “I wanted to do this omnium since it was the new format.”

Danny Heeley (RC-Now-MS Society) won silver while Kit Karzen collected the bronze.

After winning the women’s crown ahead of Higgins and Jennifer Triplett (Lake Washington Velo-Broadmark Capitol Cycling), Hammer said she would be focusing on the omnium for 2012.

“It’s the beginning of the season for me,” she said. “I had a little break this summer so I use nationals as a jump start … a wake-up call to get back into racing.”

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