February 10, 2008 (London, ON) – What a weekend of racing at the Forest City Velodrome in London Ontario. The 138m indoor bicycle track in south London hosted a very successful Winter Nationals competition that included bicycle racers from across Canada and the United States.
All 6 divisions completed the 5 events Omnium Series of races before 300 enthusiastic spectators over the weekend. The highlight of the night was the fact that 11 Cadet racers all under 15 years old, battled each other for the win in the endurance race on Saturday night. With 3 riders in contention for the overall win, the young racers attacked each other. In the final sprint Jason King (Oakville) nipped Alex Cataford (Ottawa) and Daniel MacKenzie-Picot (London) to the finishline. The Kids had a “Blast” as this was their first real test of multiple rider competition. Up until now the most riders on the track at one time was 6. The numbers of youth racing is a product the FCV’s development program that is helped with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the grant allows the Velodrome to keep the costs for parents to a minimum. These racers will see each other in the coming weeks and the racing action for these youngsters will be at an even higher level.
In the women’s division we had to split the ladies according to the age so that everyone would be able to compete on a level playing field. The top position on the podium changed hands 4 times in the Elite women’s category. The eventual winner, Heather Logan (Guelph) came from behind after the first event to win the 2 of the 5 events on her way to the top step on the Podium. Amy Biskaborn, Lisa Perlmutter, Amy Armstrong and Karine Cote Montreal) rounded the top 5 positions.
The Junior women had a solid battle for the second, third and fourth positions in the final standings. The clear winner in the division was Stephanie Bester (London) who won 4 of 5 events and came second in the fifth. In this division a total of 6 young ladies all under 17 years old competed and achieved no fewer than 12 personal best performances were turned in during the 2 days of racing. Sarah McKenzie-Picot (London) took second just nipping her sister Emily by the slimmest of margins in the overall standings. Krista Ruby, Ashley Barson and Amberly Berman rounded out the top 6 positions. With all these young racers coming to the Velodrome they are building their cycling skills and having a great time doing it.
The Juniors and Elite men’s divisions were hotly contested during the 2 days of racing action. The 3 junior riders from the Burnaby Velodrome in Vancouver, put on a clinic during the 2 long mass start races. The 3 riders road as a team and opened holes for each other and basically made life difficult for the rest of the Junior field who had to continually chase down and close gaps over the weekend. Local racer Allan Leparskas said, “the FCV riders will have to learn how to protect teammates and work more as a team in the future”. a very good lesson learned by all.
Jacob Schwingbath (Burnaby) and Logan Cornell (Kingston) duked it out all weekend for the overall win with Schwingbath coming out on top.
The Elite men had to deal with the 16 year old Junior Ryan Aitcheson from Kitchener who was riding up a category for experience and to put pressure on the FCV regulars who had to contend with aggressive Junior. In the end after setting fast time in the Kilo and Individual 3k time trial, Aitcheson had to settle for the second spot on the podium behind eventual winner Vince DeJong (Brantford). DeJong said, on several occasions during the 2 endurance events “I was on the rivet trying to hold Ryan’s wheel, we train together so I knew he was strong but I really had to dig deep to win the Winter Nationals this year”. DeJong went on saying, “It’s great to see the young riders coming up to challenge the more experienced riders at the Velodrome, we will look for Ryan to keep improving leading into the summer season”. Ryan Nye (Buffalo) finished in 3rd during the weekend.
In the last division, the master’s put on a great show for the spectators. in the final event of the weekend a prime (cash) was put up by a spectator to make the riders suffer more during the endurance event….. suffer they did, as Chris Vlemmix (London) charged over the wilting Mike Renneboog (Delhi) in the final 5 metres to claim the cash prize, in third was London’s Lorne Falkenstein.
58 riders registered for the weekend competition with all riders looking forward to the Provincial Track Championships in May. The Forest City Velodrome is a Not for Profit Association run by a dedicated group of Volunteers.
The next race is Saturday night February 23rd. “Festa Itallianna” The italian community fund-raiser begins at 7pm. All of the regular racers will be in attendance with as “Special Feature” which will be announced in the next few days.
For more information…. www.ForestCityVelodrome.ca
1. Mike Renneboog 10
2. Lorne Falkenstein 14
3. Chris Vlemmix 14
4. Brian Szklarczuk 16
5. Joe Brennan 25
6. Brian Kelly 30
7. Conrad Mrowiec 35
DNS Rob Rupay
DNS Julien Shea
Omnium Elite Men
Omnium Elite Women
Omnium Junior Women