It was a big week for Felt-sponsored
athletes at the Pan American Track Championships
in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Athletes from three different nations rode Felt bikes to medals, including gold for Njisane Phillip
of Trinidad and Tobago and the Project London 2012 team sprint squad
from the U.S.
Phillip, who rode his Felt TK1
and set a PanAm 200m record in qualifying, took a huge step forward in his dream to race the 2012 London Olympics
when he beat rival Hersony Canelon from Venezuela to take the match sprint gold.
It was the first time Phillip has beat Canelon, and he did it in two straight in the best-of-three format.
Also scoring gold in Argentina was the Project London 2012 team of Jimmy Watkins, Kevin Mansker and Michael Blatchford
in the team sprint event. That win, over second-place Canada, which includes Felt athlete Travis Smith
, and third-place Argentina, gave the USA some valuable points toward Olympic qualification. Mansker also went on to take a silver medal in the Kilometer TT.
“We accomplished what we came here to do, and that was to gain points on Venezuela in the team sprint,” explained USA Cycling Sprint Track Program Director Jamie Staff. “Next, it’s straight back into training for the World Championships, which are in a month’s time.”
In other track news, Exergy2012 athlete Jennifer Valente took brozee in the Women's Scratch Race, as well as bronze in the Women's Team Pursuit along with teammate Cari Higgins. Last but certainly not least, Jen and Cari's new teammate, Rhae Shaw, grabbed a silver medal in the women's road race.