Cali, COL–Felt athletes delivered big at this year’s 2014-15 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Finals lead by US athletes in the Women’s Team Pursuit (“TP”) and Keirin competitions.
In TP action, the US squad of (L-R) Ruth Winder, Jennifer Valente, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lauren Tamayo and Carmen Small, aboard their TK FRD’s, initially qualified for the first round in 7th (of eight taken) position. They knew they’d need to dig a lot deeper to move into the medal rounds and in their next ride against Belarus shaved over 10 seconds off their first round time. This moved them all the way to the race for bronze where the girls delivered again, this time by posting a 4:32.482 over the 4,000 meters to beat the Italians. What made this all the more impressive is that this combination of women had never raced together and in Carmen Small, had a first-time trackie as a part of the program.
In Keirin action, 22yr old Matt Baranoski (below) overcame an early first round loss to came up through the repechage heats and make the finals (1-6). Matt has always done well in the rough-and-tumble world of Keirin racing and in a high-speed showdown finished a very impressive 3rd among the world’s best. His was the first medal won by a US sprinter in World Cup competition in eight years. In women’s Keirin action, the US’ Missy Erickson also came through her repechage round to make it to her finals and earn bronze.
All eyes now turn the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Saint-quentin-en-yvelines, France on Feb 18-22, 2015.