Race Dates: June 8th, 2014
Race Type: Track
Rider: Nicole LaGorga, Shannon Grieb
This Sunday Shannon and Nicole packed up the car and headed to Queens, NY to race a Women’s Keirin event at the Kissena Velodrome. To save you a google for those who may not know what a Keirin is…
Keirin races are a form of motor-paced bicycle racing in which track cyclists sprint for victory following a speed-controlled start behind a motorized vehicle. The speed increases with each lap. The number of laps depends on the size of the track. Kissena is a 400m track (all UCI tracks are 250m), so it was a 4 lap race. The Derny (think European motorcycle/bike) pulls off at lap 3, and the riders sprint around the track for the last lap. Saturday we were paced by Garden State Velodrome’s Sam Zara on his prized Derny that he brought over from the Netherlands piece-by-piece and rebuilt for racing in the U.S. This day of racing brought us a 200m TT, 5 Keirins, yes you read that right FIVE. (That’s a lot for one day – even the pros don’t race 5) and a miss-n-out for good measure and the ability to get a solid omnium going. An omnium is where the points a rider scores in each of the races of the event (usually 3), are added up at the end, and then the riders fall in line in ranking for the day based on those total points. So you can do really well in one race, maybe be off in another, and still place in the omnium. But if your wheel falls off- you’re sort-of out of luck. And that’s what happened to Nicole on Sunday. Nicole raced the first three heats and won all of them from every position behind the derny. Those heats weren’t for points though. Nicole scored some points in the fourth omnium, but her wheel slid forward and jammed into my frame on the first lap of the 5th heat. Nicole had to carry the bike back to the tent. The last race was a miss-n-out. This is not Nicole's favorite race. The objective in this one is to NOT be the last one across the line during each sprint lap. Because the track is only so wide- riders jam themselves into small spaces, or swing up over the top which takes a lot of energy. Nicole always makes it about half way through this race then finds herself in the back in a split second of tactical moves. Nicole did great but realized she has some work to do in figuring out how to race this one. Nicole and Shannon drove up to NY because they love a Keirin, and even though Nicole's wheel feel off and ruined my omnium placement they had a great time racing!