By Courtesy USA Cycling
American Giddeon Massie has advanced to the semifinal of the men’s sprint with a successful ride against Venezuela’s Johnny Hernandez Thursday. Teammate Stephen Alfred was narrowly defeated by Colombian sprinter Jonathan Marin in the third heat of the morning session.
Massie will ride in the sprint semifinal set to start at 9:00 a.m. Friday morning. Later Thursday morning Massie led the team sprint with one of his fastest laps this season, posting a 23.669 to start the U.S. team off. Stephen Alfred rode the second leg with Christian Stahl anchoring the three-man team. The team advanced to the semifinal scheduled for Friday’s morning session with the finals set for Friday night.
The final day of track racing will be jam-packed with semifinals of the women’s sprint also set for Friday’s morning session. Tanya Lindenmuth and Chris Witty will look to medal in the women’s speed event.
Thursday’s final event, the men’s points race was delayed due to late afternoon rain showers. The 120-lap race went off at approximately 10:15 p.m. Colby Pearce played the first half of the race conservative looking to make his mark in the second half. With a variety of players taking points in the sprints, Pearce found time running out and finished fifth with a total of 35 points. The endurance rider spoke about his effort at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Park Velodrome.
“I’ve been riding a lot of points races this season and they all seem to be in unbelievably hot and humid conditions which doesn’t suit me at all,” said Pearce. “I’ve learned by experience this year that I need to be conservative in the heat. So I didn’t do much in the first half of the race. I followed a few moves and got a few points here and there and then the really competitive part of me really came through and I was looking to take some sprints. All year I’ve just been lacking top-end speed and it’s a bit frustrating. I’ll look to the Madison tomorrow with Jamie to make better things happen.”
The Madison will take place in the evening session Friday, wrapping up the final night of Pan Am track competition. Finals in the men’s and women’s sprint are also set for Friday night as well as the final in the team sprint.