Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, North Carolina)
Women’s Team Pursuit
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Lauren Tamayo’s hometown of Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, was a hub of East coast track cycling when her father first took her to the velodrome. One year after she discovered the oval, Tamayo was a junior national champion.
Equally accomplished on the road, which she used as a means to stay fit between track sessions, Tamayo has three national road titles to her name: a junior road title in 2000, a U23 time trial title in 2004, and a U23 road title in 2005. She was also selected for the national road team for the 2007 world championships, although she logged a DNF in her one attempt at that race.
Tamayo has raced on the road for Victory Brewing, Lipton, Tibco, and Peanut Butter & Co.-TWENTY12, and is currently with the Exergy-Twenty12 squad of Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong. She has been one of the top leadout women in the U.S. peloton over the last half-decade and still trains regularly on the roads of Asheville, crediting her husband, UnitedHealthcare manager Mike Tamayo, for pushing her through the inevitable lulls in motivation. Her teammates affectionately nickname her “La Diabla,” in reference to her change in personality with a track bike and disk wheels beneath her.
Although Tamayo does not live near a velodrome — she commutes often to Los Angeles to train at the Home Depot Center — she set a team pursuit world record in 2010 alongside Dotsie Bausch and Sarah Hammer at the Pan-Am Championships in Mexico. Despite a long and successful career on the track, the London Olympics will be Tamayo’s first attempt at Olympic gold.