Chari & Co. 2 Year Anniversary » Celebrating their 2nd anniversary with a track day at Kissena Velodrome and it’s gonna be awzum! Session starts at 1:30pm.
Circulus » Second opening reception for a little mini-velodrome art project built in an old empty library at Pomona College. 8pm - 10pm. And if you can’t make it, there’s a live feed on the website.
Coast Cycles & Seth Rosko Open House » BBQ, & music with brazing & welding demos from a couple of NYC’s finest custom frame builders. There will be a group ride to the shop from Tompkins Square Park at 12:30pm.
For A Fist Full Of Handlebars » Encino Velodrome’s third big race of the season. Expect to see some speed. Women, Juniors & Masters race at noon. Elites race at 3pm. Don’t miss this.
Get Ready For Summer » Great pre-summer track races at Hellyer Park Velodrome. Racing begins at 1pm. Don’t miss it. There’s only a couple more chances to get ready before summer is actually here.
Hell Track 2 » Toronto fixed gear riders getting down. This is going to be a pretty fun event. Bickford Park at 7:30pm.
Macashreda » Tricks and all that fun shit presented by Macaframa. Fremont Park in Sacramento at 3pm.
Pier Pressure » Cover less miles in more hours and have the time of your life doing it. Meet at the top of the Santa Monica Pier (by the cannon) at 2pm.
Red Bull Arena Ride » Red Bull is a hosting a group ride from NYC to the Red Bull Arena in Jersey for a football (soccer) match. Meeting at Zen Cycles at 4:00 with two different distances to choose from.
Velo-Studio Open House » A new bike boutique is opening up in Burbank. Celebrate with food, music, drinks and goldsprints. All happening from 1pm to 8pm.
Amgen Tour Of California » The big stateside stage race starts this Sunday and continues all week long. Always fun to go out and catch one of the stages.
Bay Or Die » Mash SF is throwing this alleycat in SF to challenge anyone who naysays The Bay. Show up! Judah & La Playa at 10am.
MadEx’s GuerrilLA Drive-In » The infamous GuerilLA Drive-In is back! This week MadEx will be showing us one of my favorite movies — Falling Down. Garey & 2nd St in the DTLA Artist District at 9pm. Tune in to 104.7fm for audio. And yes, it’s free (but the hot dogs aren’t). This is a really fun event. Make it if you can.
Mid-Season Criterium » Flat, four-corner crit in Ontario, CA. Third race in the 2010 Ontario Crit series.
New York Bike Jumble » New York’s only bicycle flea market returns to Brooklyn. At the Old Stone House in Park Slope from 10am to 4pm.
Mt. Whitney Stage Race » Think you got legs? Try this one on for size. Over 12,000 feet of climbing in just 52 miles in this multi-day behemoth in Lone Pine Park, CA.
It’s going to be a great day of races. Fun + excitement = funcitement!
Let’s review the series so far…
Hammer Nutrition's Shane Ellis and CJ Boyenger are ruling the women’s field but Vanderkitten's Jennifer Wilson is hungry and ready to pounce. Will she sink her claws into her prey or will the Hammer girls continue to pound it out?
In Masters, John Allen of Velocity is trailing behind Herbalife Lagrange rider Richard Kim by a mere point. This Saturday could be the decider between the two. Will Kim be able to outsprint John Allen and increase his points lead or will Allen’s appetite for neverending torture shoot him into a breakaway lead?
After all, it’s John Allen's incredible endurance that has him leading the Cat 1/2/3 field as well. However Allen was involved in a nasty crash last month during the Cat 1/2/3 Points Race at Gone In 250 Meters. Nothing broken and he was back on the bike within a week but he wasn’t able to finish the Omnium and that gave Jack Lindquist a chance to start catching up in points. If Lindquist rides well (i.e. fast!) this Saturday, he might be able to close in on the series leader.
Encino Velo's juniors are ruling their fields with the top 3 spots in both Junior Categories. James Horvet leads the 12 & Under’s and Daniel Kosykh leads the 13-16’s. However Kosykh’s teammate Scott Cohen is very close behind and could very likely take the lead.
[Ryan Barrett (PAA), a new Cat 3/4 rider to watch out for.
Photo by Pat Benson.]
Well, Kosykh probably isn’t very worried about that since he is leading the Cat 3/4 field by a longshot. This is where he’s focussing his efforts and it shows. I doubt any other contender in the field will be able to close in on Kosykh’s points lead this weekend. What a star! That said, this Saturday won’t be too easy for Daniel with riders in the field like Aram Goganian from Predator Cycles and newcomer Ryan Barrett of Pasadena Athletic Association.
And as usual, the Cat 5 racers have been in and out of the series (or upgrading) so the series title could very well become a perfect attendance award. We’ve still seen some very good racing in Cat 5 so far especially from Encino Velo’s Iain Patterson who took the win during The Fast, The Slow & The Ugly in March and Ritte Racing's James Downs who slaughtered everyone at Gone In 250 Meters. I’m looking forward to seeing some more rookie talent this Saturday.
A Fist Full Of Handlebars — and every BHMC race day at Encino Velodrome — is split into two sessions. Women, Masters and Juniors race the first session at noon. At three in the afternoon is the second session, when the Cat 1/2/3, Cat 3/4 and Cat 5 races are.
Don’t miss this event! Race days under the Southern Cali sun are the best!
Well, there’s the Individual Pursuit and Points Race which were already eliminated from the Olympic program. Also, there’s the Kilo TT (and 500m for women) which was dropped from the Olympics in 2008. Now they are all grouped together in this kitchen sink Omnium. What does this mean?
A lot of people are saying that UCI and the International Olympic Committee are gradually phasing out track cycling in the Olympics. Is this move really foreshadowing the death of Track Cycling?
There are now only 8 events in Olympic Track Cycling (including the separate men’s and women’s contests):
In 2008 we had 10 events. In 2004 we had 12 events. It definitely seems like it’s shrinking.
With the new Omnium format, we’ve got 6 contests housed under one medal. Well so much for specificity. Now if Taylor Phinney wants to win an Olympic medal for his Individual Pursuit effort, he must also ride a killer Kilo and Flying Lap. Could he do that? Yeah, but he’d have to compromise his very specific Pursuit training in order to include training for other events.
The Individual Pursuit is a very specialized event and that’s why there are Pursuit specialists in the world. The same thing goes for the Kilo. The Omnium kind of kills all of that. It’s beginning to look like the IOC only has one Gold Medal to award to an “Overall Track Champion”.
Compare this to swimming with 34 events in 2008 (not including the Diving, Synchronized Swimming or Water Polo events). There are athletes who specialize in very specific swimming events and even still, one man took home 8 Gold Medals, which pretty much made him “Overall Swimming Champion”.
The difference is Phelps had to be the best at ALL those events. In the Omnium, you don’t have to be the best at any of the individual contests. You could come in second for all six races and you’d have an excellent chance at winning the single Gold Medal award. In fact, that’s probably your best bet. You have to be the Jack of all trades, master of none. So this is the new Olympics where mediocrity is rewarded.
With the trend we’re seeing right now, I bet that by 2016 we’ll only have the Omnium and the Team Pursuit. They will take the Sprint competition (which has been narrowed down to 8 qualified riders instead of 18) and throw it into the Omnium, replacing the Flying Lap. Keirin might also become an Omnium contest, replacing the Miss n Out. And that’s that! One Gold Medal to rule them all.
Now I don’t really have a problem with the Omnium as an event in itself. It’s an event contested at the World Camps (since 2007) and obviously most local track race days are set up as Omniums (which is great of course). But this isn’t a local track meet. This is the Olympics. It’s supposed to be a major international event that celebrates and awards the best athleticism shown in ALL disciplines.
That’s why there’s the Shot Put, Hammer Throw, Javelin Throw and Discus Throw… not the “Omnium of Throwing Shit Around”.
PEZ Cycling News was down in Trinidad & Tobago last month to cover the Beacon Cycling Festival, an incredible event as Trini’s are known for going all out for their events. I wish I could’ve been there but I wasn’t so what’s the next best thing? PEZ’s series of rider interviews from Trinidad. Check it out.
BikeRoParty 3.25 » Party at Bikerowave! Friends, music, bike tools and tacos. 8pm into the night.
Fixed Gear Fest » Kicking off the Long Beach Bike Festival weekend. A big block party full of fixed gear fun. Lots of trick comps, goldsprints, DJs, food, vendors, live music (FUNDERSTORM) and a tricycle race with Long Beach City Council members. First Street in the East Village from 6pm to 11pm.
Bike Polo Friendlies » Long Beach Bike Fest will be hosting a big bike polo tournament. Up to 27 teams will face off in this day-long tournament from 10pm to 7pm. Located on the Promenade North of Broadway right next to the beer garden (cuz we all know what kind of people play bike polo, right).
Cruisin’ The Conejo » The 26th annual edition of this beautiful supported ride through Southern California country. Starting from Thousand Oaks with 6 different routes to choose from.
Eric Kautzky Memorial Track Race » Get your Northwest racing gear on. The racing season at Alpenrose Velodrome up in Portland is starting up. Proceeds from this event go to the Eric Kautzky Memorial Scholarship Fund at Tigard High School. Also, this is a qualifying event for Hellyer’s American Velodrome Challenge.
Long Beach Grand Prix » The centerpiece of the Long Beach Bike Fest. A 6-corner, 0.83-mile crit course with a 230-meter straight sprint just before the finish line. Over $1,600 in the purse plus tons of primes. This is a high-profile event and I expect all the fields to be sold out. You can bet this race will be a good show. Long Beach is doing it right.
Polomania! » Another big bike polo tourney. This one is in Amsterdam. Competition is from 10am to the end with an afterparty at Mediamatic.
Tour Of Long Beach » A 30-mile fundraiser ride for Miller Children’s Hospital. Guess what. It’s also a part of the Long Beach Bike Fest. Ride starts at 8am.
4th St. In Motion » The epic Long Beach Bike Fest continues with this family-friendly alternative transportation event. Lots of people, lots of bikes, lots of music and lots of stuff to do. It’s like Burning Man only different.
Paramount Grand Prix » The 2010 SCNCA Masters Criterium Championships taking place in Dominguez Hills. Don’t dismiss them as just some old guys. Masters racers are some of the fastest beasts in cycling and definitely the most competitive field in racing.
Giro d’Italia » The first Grand Tour of the year starts this weekend and continues for the rest of the month. You can catch coverage on Universal Sports… or on Eurosport if you’re in Europe.
Long Beach Bike Festival » Hey, have you heard about this thing called the Long Beach Bike Fest? I know I’ve already posted most of the main events up above but there’s definitely a lot of other events going on like a film festival, a fashion show, a cargo bike race and much more. I think it’s pretty rad that the City of Long Beach is putting all this together and I applaud them. They recently made it to the 23rd place in Bicycling Magazine’s top bike-friendly cities in the U.S. and one can tell that they’re trying to get higher up on that list.
“We might have to think a little bit more carefully about who focuses on what in what respect.”—David Brailsford, Great Britain’s team performance director referring to the 2012 London Olympics.
The governing body on world cycling events, Union Cycliste Internationale, just announced a change to the Olympic track cycling program that will effect multiple-medal winning nations like Great Britain. Each competing country will only be allowed to enter one athlete in the men’s and women’s Sprint, Keirin and Omnium.
This greatly affects Great Britain’s approach to the Olympics seeing as how they were able to score Gold and Silver medals in the sprint and Keirin during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
This will also affect the entire competition. Now that the top sprinting countries will not be able to send in their second-fastest guys, the slower countries will be able to take those qualification spots. The actual tournament will have a much wider spread in talent. It will no longer be a competition between the greatest athletes in the world but it will be a more diverse show-up of national champions.
Does that fall in line with the “spirit of the Olympics”? I’m not sure.
But I do know that this latest change in the program is kind of a nail in the coffin for the Olympic track cycling program. Five months ago, UCI announced they were eliminating the Individual Pursuit, Points Race and Madison and now this. I’m not writing off the Olympics entirely but I think it’s now official that the UCI Track World Championships is the much more relevant contest.
Giro d’Italia History » La Gazzetta Della Bici’s history lesson on the Giro. What it is and where it all came from.
Giro d’Italia & Eurosport » La Gazzetta’s guide to watching the Giro televised live on Eurosport (only in Britain of course).
Giro d’Italia Live Dashboard » Keep up with this year’s Giro with Steephill TV’s all-inclusive guide to live, up-to-the-minute coverage including race info, previews, live video, results, photos and highlights.
Stages Of The Giro » Among Cycling Weekly’s Giro coverage is a list and previews of each stage.