"The Unseen Enemy is Always the Most Fearsome"
George R.R. Martin
My plan was to write a recap of each of the UCI weekends, but the racing and heavy training load filled the days and left me little time to write. So here is a brief recap of the month.
The Valley Preferred Cycling Center was host to a total of six UCI points events during the month of June in Trexlertown. 19 countries were represented including teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Great Britain, Wales, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Venezuela, and the Netherlands. It was a true world class event with top competitors from around the globe. Sprinters Edge had a great month with some top finishes and strong showing from some of our young developing riders. Most notable was Mandy Marquardt's domination of all three Elite Women's Sprint Tournaments. Mandy topped Kate O'brien of Canada in the final to win the U.S. Sprint GP in week 1. In week three Mandy earned the title the "Fastest Woman on Wheels", by taking two straight from Australia's Karle McCollough. In the final week of competition, Mandy completed the trifecta by knocking off Olivia Podmore of New Zealand in two straight rides to take the win during Madison Cup night.
Our developing women's sprinters faced the toughest competition they've seen and gained tremendous race experience. Every one of our girls achieved a personal best somewhere during the span of the competitions. It will be exciting to watch their continued rise through our National Championships and later events.
On the men's side we saw some very nice progression from 21 year old James Mellen. With each meet, James grew faster and more tactically savvy. James showed that he is developing the speed and power to compete at the highest level. A little off form coming into the racing after completing his junior year at Penn State, James progressed with strong finishes in the keirin and with a 4th place qualifying time in the final sprint tournament (eclipsing his own American track record at Trexlertown with a 10.32). James eventually took home a 7th place in a loaded men's field.
Jamie Alvord took a hard tumble on day two of week one and competed fiercely, although his injuries limited his performance.
Overall, we had some very nice performances, and our younger riders were exposed to true world class competitions. Now that we have seen and experienced that level, we better know-
the demand at hand. We can prepare confidently towards our National Championships and continue to bridge the gap to the international podiums.