August 22, 2005 – For a third day in a row yesterday, the sky was clear and the sun shone at the Ron Marat American Velodrome Challenge in Victoria, British Columbia. “This is very unlike track racing,” said Keith Bruneau the organizer of the race, usually there is at least one rain delay.” Bruneau hopes the sun and good racing will encourage athletes back and bring even more athletes next year. “The race went without a glitch and everyone left happy, there was not one complaint all weekend,” said an elated Bruneau.
The competition ended on a high note when the track record in the flying one lapper was beaten not only once but twice. Matt Barlee of Victoria set a new record of 19.273 seconds but then immediately afterwards Steven Alfred took to the track and broke it with a time of 19.082 seconds. For the women it was Auna-Brit -Ericksen of Calgary who set the fastest women’s time at 23.506 seconds. “It’s a good way of ending the competition with a flying lap competition because it gets everyone hyped,” said Bruneau.
In the senior men’s Points Race, sprinter extraordinaire Matt Chater of Vancouver took gold and Scott Laliberte of Vancouver and Derek McMaster of Saskatchewan fought it out for silver. In the end the two tied on points. In the women’s events, Sarah Kirby of British Columbia won the Scratch Race and Ericksen won the sprint rounds. And in the Master’s events Charles Durant of British Columbia claimed yet another title in the Sprint events.
As for next year there are a few things Bruneau hopes to change to make the race even better. “The Victoria Cycling Festival pulled our funding three weeks ago so we had to scrounge for financial support. Next year we will be self-sufficient.” Bruneau also wants to ensure that no other big races conflict with the Ron Marat American Velodrome Challenge. “There were Canadians who wanted to be here but had other racing commitments,” said Bruneau. If anyone can make it happen it’s Bruneau, who was recently named by Velonews the Canadian Strongman.