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He’s certainly off to a good start.
World junior time trial champion, Taylor Phinney captured the national elite men’s individual pursuit title on Thursday evening, competing in his first-ever event on the track.
The 17-year-old Phinney (TIAA-CREF) earned the number-two seed in Thursday morning’s qualifying session at USA Cycling’s Elite Track National Championships in Carson, California, with a time of 4:35.550
Phinney’s time set up a head-to-head match against top-seed Brad Huff, who had earlier set a mark of 4:34.976.
In the gold medal, Phinney rode to an early advantage in the 4000-meter event, but slowed to a slight disadvantage at the halfway mark. Phinney, the son of Olympic medalists Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter, upped his pace and eventually beat Huff by more than two seconds, finishing with a time of 4:38.413. Huff clocked a 4:40.895.
Both men’s qualifying performance make them eligible for 2008 USA Cycling Track Talent Pool by surpassing the time standard of 4:37.01, but Phinney can’t compete as part of that pool until the beginning of the year, when his racing age is officially 18.
Meanwhile road veteran Dotsie Bausch (Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light) also earned a national pursuit title in only her third-career track race. After just six weeks on fixed gears, Bausch clocked an impressive 3:44.354 over 3000 meters in the morning’s qualifying session to earn the top seed. Bausch’s time was nearly three seconds better than that of second-placed Christen King (Young’s Training).
In the gold medal final, Bausch rode a 3:46.422 to claim the stars-and-stripes jersey by just one second over King. Both Bausch and King – who clocked a 3:47.026 in qualifying – earned spots in the Talent Pool by surpassing the time standard of 3:49.12.
Bausch is currently the training partner of two-time world champion Sarah Hammer (Ouch Pro Cycling), who did not compete on Thursday. Both Phinney and Bausch are also the latest products of USA Cycling’s efforts to expose some of the nation’s top road cyclists to the velodrome.
Following her silver-medal performance in the pursuit, King came back later in the afternoon and claimed a national title in the women’s scratch race. King escaped from the peloton with five laps remaining to win the stars-and-stripes jersey while Becky Quinn (South Bay Wheelmen) won the field sprint for silver. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci-Breakaway), Cassandra Holman (Home Depot Center) and Anna Lang (SDBC-Karl Strauss) rounded out the top-five.
In the men’s scratch race, Dave McCook (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast) defended his title with a win over Cody O’Reilly (Kodak Gallery) in another mass sprint finish. Rounding out the podium in third through fifth were Steve Palaez (Adobe-Schwalbe), Curtis Gunn (Successful Living) and Bobby Lea (Toyota-United).
Jennie Reed (Momentum) claimed a national title in the women’s keirin, outsprinting runner-up Liz Reap (T-Town Express) to the line for the win.
Championship events continue on Friday, when eight more national titles will be contested, as finals of the elite and U23 men’s and women’s points race, and sprint will be determined.
2007 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships
October 3-6Women’s Keirin
1. Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.)
2. Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa.)
3. Cristin Walker (Houston, Texas)
4. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo.)
5. Becky Lang (Paramount, Calif.)Men’s Individual Pursuit
1. Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) 4:38.413
2. Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.) 4:40.895
3. Mike Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 4:41.537
4. Dan Harm (Seattle, Wash.) 4:47.627
5. Tom Zirbel (Boulder, Colo.) 4:39.147Women’s Individual Pursuit
1. Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif.) 3:46.422
2. Christen King (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 3:47.499
3. Angela Coggan (Ballwin, Mo.) 3:54.935
4. Neva Day (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) 3:55.215
5. Kele Murdin (Kenmore, Wash.) 3:58.501Men’s Scratch Race
1. Dave McCook (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast)
2. Cody O’Reilly (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
3. Steve Palaez (San Francisco, Calif.)
4. Curtis Gunn (Tucson, Ariz.)
5. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa.)Women’s Scratch Race
1. Christen King (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
2. Becky Quinn (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
3. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich.)
4. Cassandra Holman (Whittier, Calif.)
5. Anna Lang (San Diego, Calif.)