By VeloNews Interactive
It was a rough-and-tumble evening of racing at the 2003 USCF National Track Cycling Championships at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, as T-Mobile’s Chris Witty took the win in the women’s 500 and Jonas Carney took the win in what at times was a heated points race.
That points race proved to be dramatic… almost as dramatic as the fight it triggered afterward.
Early on, Prime Alliance, Ofoto-Lombardi, T.E.A.M. Fuji, and Navigators spread the points across the board with each trying to make a move that would stick – none of which was successful.
Prime Alliance’s Jame Carney seemed to have Marty Nothstein in his sights, countering virtually every move that the Navigators man tried. Carney wasn’t earning too many points, but neither was Nothstein.
By the halfway mark, Ofoto’s Colby Pearce had a small advantage, but with the top five riders all within five points and Pearce’s lead was not enough to let him relax. So Pearce took a flyer with 30 laps remaining in an effort to add to his lead.
Carney and his teammate and brother Jonas took off in pursuit. After winning a sprint, Jonas Carney set his sights on Pearce. With less than ten laps remaining, the two brothers were able to escape, leaving Pearce in the pack.
Going into the final sprint Pearce still held a two point lead over Jonas Carney. On the final lap his brother led him out going into turn three and Jonas Carney held off Gui Nelessen (Sportsbook.com) to take the final sprint and the national title.
But while brother Jonas was celebrating his win, Jame Carney was involved in a post-race tussle with Jelly Belly’s Mariano Friedick. Indeed, the tussle grew more serious and police were soon called to the track to break things up.
The fight and subsequent delay prompted one wag to note that he had come “to see a bike race and a hockey game broke out.”
Race officials have already warned participants that if bad blood continues into Friday night’s Madison event, causing unsafe riding, the race will be called and no one will be awarded a win.
Refocusing on the athletic side of things, Witty lit the track up with a 36.388 second run in the 500-meter time trial. Her strong performance secured her second national championship this week, after she scored the win in the sprint competition on Wednesday.
Becky Conzelman (Frisco Cycling Club), one of T-town’s favorite hometown riders, came within six-tenths-of-a-second of Witty’s time to take the silver medal.
In the sprint rounds, top-seeded riders Stephen Alfred and Giddeon Massie, both members of the Cody Racing Team, easily moved onto Friday night’s semi-finals.
USCF National Track Cycling Championships
August 28, 2003Men’s Sprint 9-12th Place Final
9. David Wiswell, Gotham Cyclists
10. Peter Sargent, Snow Valley
11. Andy Sparks, Cody racingMen’s Sprint 1/8th Final
1. Stephen Alfred, Cody Racing
2. Robert Lindstrom, Colavita-Bolla
1. Giddeon Massie, Cody Racing
2. Josh Weir, Focus 2004
1. Ben Barczewski, East Coast Velo
2. Mike Beers, Gotham Cyclists
1. Kevin Belz, Gotham Cyclists
2. Christian Stahl, Cody RacingMen’s 30km Points Race Final
1. Jonas Carney, Prime Alliance, 28 points
2. Colby Pearce, Ofoto/Lombardi, 25
3. Jame Carney, Prime Alliance, 14
4. Kirk O’Bee, Navigators, 13
5. Bobby Lea, T.E.A.M. Fuji, 13Women’s 500m TT
1. Chris Witty, Team T-Mobile, , 36.388
2. Becky Conzelman, Frisco Cycling Club, 36.977
3. Elizabeth Reap, T.E.A.M. Fuji, , 38.387
4. Martha Dunne, Jelly Belly/Carlsbad Clothing, 38.629
5. Jamie Pettinato, Gotham Cyclists, 39.639