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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
On a warm, hazy Friday morning, competition got underway in round 1 of the UCI track World Cup in Monterrey, Mexico. Among the early success stories were Americans Tanya Lindenmuth and Erin Mirabella, who both earned the top spots in their respective qualifying rounds.
Mirabella posted a 3:46.776 in the 3km individual time trial qualifier, easily besting Colombia’s Luisa Calle, and finishing ahead of second-place qualifier Emma Davies (Great Britain). Mirabella will face Davies in Friday evening’s final.
Meanwhile, Lindenmuth won her keirin heat with a time of 12.618, moving her into the evening’s finals. American teammate Jennie Reed took the second keirin repechage to join Lindenmuth.
Team USA’s Garth Blackburn didn’t fare nearly as well at the outdoor Nuevo Léon Velodromo. The Texan was relegated in his keirin qualifying heat, then finished last in the repechage round, ending his racing day.
Japan’s Yuji Yamada was the top qualifier in the keirin, but the biggest story was Great Britain’s Jamie Staff. Competing in his first major track race, the former BMX world champion took first in the second repechage round, earning a place in the semifinals. In the men’s 4km individual pursuit qualifying, Spain’s Sergi Escobar was fastest to the line, with a 4:35.086.
Five spots behind Escobar was American Mike Tillman, who’s mark of 4:45.335 left him out of the running for a place on the podium. Escobar, fifth at last year’s world’s, will face Britain’s Paul Manning in the final.
Still to come Friday was qualifying and the finals of the Olympic sprint, where reigning world dual champion Brian Lopes will make his competitive track debut. Lopes will ride the lead leg of the three-man, three-lap race with U.S. teammates Giddeon Massie and Jeff LaBauve.
The rest of the evening’s slate includes semifinals and finals in the keirin, followed by the official opening ceremonies, individual pursuit finals, the men’s 30km points race, and finally the Olympic sprint finals. American Jamie Carney will contest the points race. He won the overall World Cup title in that discipline a year ago.
Check back later to VeloNews.com for a full report, results and photos.