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By Dave Campbell, Special to VeloNews
Breanna Loster (Dr. Walker) added a victory in the 200-meter sprint to her 500-meter time trial win on Sunday in the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge, while Mike Creed (U.S. Postal Service-Berry Floor), fresh off winning the overall at the Cascade Cycling Classic, claimed a win in the 100-lap points race.
Sunday’s racing in Portland, Oregon, began with 200-meter qualifiers for the women’s sprint. Defending champion Annette Hanson (Team Rubicon) qualified second in 13.44 behind Loster (13.28), with top local sprinter Heather Van Valkenberg’s (Sorella Forte) third in 13.80.
Hanson lost in the semi’s and didn’t make it out of the repechage, and thus the final saw Loster and Van Valkenberg matched against the talented Jenny Trew (Oak Bay Bicycles) of Calgary. An overlap with a lap and a half to go sent Trew tumbling down the banking; with a swollen knee she opted out of the re-ride, and Loster impressively controlled Van Valkenberg for the victory.
The men, meanwhile, were racing three heats and then two reps of keirin to find eight men worthy of the rugged six-lap final on Alpenrose’s steep banks.
Jame Carney (River City Bicycles) and Josh Kerkoff (Team Rubicon) came out of the first while defending champion Stephen Alfred (Family Cycling Center) controlled the second heat, advancing along with Ryan Miller (Prime Alliance). Carney’s teammate Bobby Lea blitzed the third heat, with Kerkoff’s teammate Dean Tracy in second. Matt Chater (Schwalbe Cycling) and David McElhaw won the reps to round out the field.
The final saw Carney grab the motor while four-time defending champion Alfred took the rear in the early laps. With three to go, the big favorite made a big acceleration to come up alongside Carney and teammate Lea, then surged at the bell to hold off Carney on the line, with Tracy third.
Team Rubicon packed the women’s 5-mile scratch race with five riders and used its numbers to their tactical advantage when it became obvious that favorites Loster and Cassandra Osorio-McKenna (Hot Tubes) were sitting on, awaiting a sprint finish.
Rubicon founder Norrene Godfrey and New Zealand teammate Brei Gudsell slipped away in the company of California team-pursuit champion Julie Adams (Palo Alto Bicycles), and the three worked well together to establish a gap while the Rubicon teammates marshaled any chasing efforts behind.
The trio lapped the field with just a few laps remaining, and the scrappy Godfrey charged through the field to take a very popular local win in front of Gudsell and Adams, the real motor of the breakaway.
The 100-lap men’s points race was the last mass-start event of the night. Twenty-eight riders strung out along the entire home stretch under relentless pressure from Creed and Athens Olympians Agustin Margaleff and Milton Wynants of Uruguay.
At midrace, five riders took a lap: Creed, Joey D’Antoni (Cycles de Oro), Wynants, Carney, and Kiwi Andrew Small (Team Revolution). A counterattack by Margaleff drew Washington strongman Kenny Williams (First Rate Mortgage), and these two worked well together to quickly gain a lap, hovering just off the back to collect points before overtaking. Sensing his opportunity, a determined Creed charged off the front with D’Antoni, claiming the last two points sprints, including the double, and catapulted himself to the win with 41 points, with D’Antoni second (38) and Margaleff in third (35).
The final event, the flying lap, was raced in honor of Carl Cadinau Sr., who oversaw construction of the Alpenrose Velodrome – the only one in the nation situated on private land, belonging to the Alpenrose Dairy – to host the 1967 national championships. Cadinau, a huge bicycle-racing fan, passed away just a month ago, and the flying lap was his personal favorite.
In the women’s race, early starter Miranda Moon (Team Rubicon) set the fastest time of 18.45, until teammate Hanson, the final rider and defending champ, cruised to a super-smooth 18.27 to win her third event of the weekend.
Alfred’s 200-meter qualifying time had fans thinking he had a shot at Jeff LaBauve’s track record of 15.24, set in 2002, and when the late evening breeze dwindled to just a whisper, he nearly did it, blowing the field away with a 15.25 to close out a spectacular weekend of track racing that would have made Carl Cadinau quite proud.