Making History in Europe

Check out this report by Suunto athlete Kit Karzen. Not only did Kit win USA Jr. National Track Championships in 2008. His reports are great reading. At this moment, he is racing a Track event in Europe.
This past weekend, Team USA embarked on a trip to the Apeldoorn Velodrome, where we competed at the Omnisport Interland Track Event. The Interland Race Series is a series that makes its way around Europe, hosting the worlds best for Junior track racing. This event hosted the Czech, Belgians, Scottish, British, Dutch, and none other than the USofA. My race schedule was pretty packed, with a Scratch, Points, Team Pursuit, and Madison on Day 1, and a Derny, Madison, and Elimination race on Day 2.

... All right, Day 1 was over. Took some time overnight to think about ways of winning these races. Form is great...I'm pumped. The American Juniors warmed up together, and prepared ourselves physically and mentally for the long day ahead. Over the two days, we spent 18 hrs in the Apeldoorn Velodrome. It takes a certain amount of thick skin and mental control to get through a day like that. I had three events for the day, the Derny Race, Elimination, and the Madison.

First up, the Derny. There were about six riders in my race. The Dernies wizzing around the track, expelling plenty of exhaust brought back good memories of racing these babies in Switzerland. I drew fifth position. Once the race began, my driver and I sped right to the front of the field. No playing catch up mid-way in this race...every second counts. With seven laps to go, I was leading, but started to feel the "black lung" effect, as I like to call it, begin. With four to go, a Dutch rider made a huge move. I was pretty cooked by the time I couldn't even think to react. I took 2nd. Almost a win, darn. Okay, next up...elimination. I'm feeling pooped still from the Derny. I knew my engine wasn't revived in time for the race, so I could only do so much without completely blowing my legs up before the Madison. I think I placed 8th or so. I used this as a nice spin and adrenaline pumper, mission accomplished!
NOW, the Madison (Don't know what a Madison is?). My partner, Danny Heeley. We've been riding together on and off for a year and a half now. Last year, we went to the Hasselt 3 day in Belgium, and didn't obtain any spectacular results. Here was our chance. About 8 other teams lined up, including those from Holland, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic. Many of the teams included those who were coming off of a very strong winter season of Madison racing. Long story short, the race kept together the whole race. It came down to the final 10 laps when all hell was breaking loose with attacks being initiated by just about everyone. With 4 to go, Danny swung me in for my last pull. I sprinted harder than I have in a while, and made a gap of a couple bike lengths off of a Czech and Dutch team that was trailing us. I threw in Danny with perfect timing at one to go. We held them off, and won the Madison.

Today, we made USA Cycling history as the first Junior American team to ever win an international Madison in Europe. Let's just say we heard from USA Cycling today that they are very, very pumped, and so are we!

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