BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — Eric Young (Bissell) set two consecutive world records for the 500-meter roller sprint on his way to overall victory in Wednesday night’s Rollerfest on the stage of the Boulder Theater.
The night also featured Olympians Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) and Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale), along with 1988 Giro d’Italia winner Andy Hampsten, USA Pro Challenge riders Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare), Ted King (Liquigas), and Janez Brajkovic (Astana), and a host of other top domestic professionals.
Cover charges, bets on the races and the nightlong silent auction benefited the Boulder Junior Cycling program and Duggan’s Just Go Harder Foundation.
The roller race, a series of 500-meter stationary sprints on fixed-gear bikes, took the 20 riders through five heats, two semifinals, and a four-man final. The top sprinters approached 120kph (74.5mph) on the zero-resistance rollers.
Phinney matched pre-race expectations by winning the first heat of the night in 17.546 seconds. Danny Summerhill (Garmin-Sharp) quickly stole Phinney’s spotlight when he won the second heat in 16.300 seconds, smashing the previous world record by 0.482 second.
Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies sprinter Mike Friedman took the third heat in 17.561 seconds (and took a major scalp in beating Hampsten as well). Young, winner of the 2011 Little 500, finished .001 second off the previous world record to win the fourth heat. Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1-Sanofi) won the fifth heat in 18.025 seconds, beating Rory Sutherland, winner of stage 1 of this year’s Tour of Utah, to advance to the semifinals.
Young won the first semifinal, breaking Summerhill’s new world record in 15.782 seconds. Phinney was second; both men advanced to the final. The second semi-final ended in a three-way tie for first in 18.551 seconds, which Summerhill won on account of his higher top speed.
Young won the final round over Phinney, who, despite making a last-minute change to his bar position and setting his own best time of the night, had to settle for second. Young’s winning time of 15.766 seconds was yet another world record, one that should stand for some time to come.
The night of fundraising also included pints of Great Divide beer and a VIP dinner, catered by Skratch Labs’ Allen Lim and Biju Thomas, writers of “The Feed Zone Cookbook.”
Memorabilia in the silent auction included a Liquigas-Cannondale team jersey, signed by King and Duggan, a Young-signed Bissell team jersey, and Mike Friedman’s long-sleeved Optum team jersey. Other non-apparel items on offer included an Eddy Merckx poster and a vintage brochure from a 1936 six-day track event.
Boulder Junior Cycling is a non-profit, volunteer coaching and development program for junior cyclists in Boulder. The program aims to develop promising junior racers into state, national, world and Olympic champions.
The Just Go Harder Foundation provides scholarships, financial support and mentorship for young enthusiasts looking to break into cycling and skiing. The foundation has provided funding for bikes and equipment, coaching and mentorship to young cyclists and skiers since 2009.