Project London 2012 p/b Land Rover Select CPO rider Kevin Mansker breaks four more records at Alpenrose Velodrome.
Mansker, 23, came out with guns-a-blazing on the opening night of the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge (AVC), setting two new track records in one ride. He clocked a 33.5” time in the first 500-meters of the 1 kilometer time trial, and continued on to smash his own 1 kilometer record set at last year’s AVC, stopping the clock at 1:06.91”.
Mansker came out firing on all cylinders again on Sunday afternoon and set two more track records when he crushed his own 200 meter record by more than half a second with a time of 11.06”, and continued on to smash the track flying lap record held by Stephen Alfred by more than one second, riding in at a time of 14.8 “ and averaging 41 MPH for the 268 meter lap.
Kevin showed his World Cup speed by dominating the men’s sprint field and winning the kilo, sprints and keirin events. Project London 2012 p/b Land Rover Select CPO rider Dean Tracy went on to take fourth in the men’s sprint. Kevin and Dean and guest rider Jack Lindquist also took second in the team sprint.
The count of records owned by Project London 2012 p/b Land Rover Select CPO is now up to 15: 12 track records, 2 US National records and one North American record.
• Blaine MN, 200 meter record – 10.5”
• Marymoor Velodrome, Redmond WA, 200 meter record - 10.779”
• Hellyer Park, San Jose, 200 meter record – 10.73”
Kevin Mansker and Jimmy Watkins (Tie)
• Encino Velodrome, Encino CA, 200 meter record -11.18”
• Alpenrose Velodrome, Portland Oregon, 1 kilometer record - 1:06.91”
• Alpenrose Velodrome, Portland Oregon, team sprint - 51.06”
Alpenrose Velodrome, Portland Oregon, 200 meter tt - 11.06”, Kevin Mansker
Alpenrose Velodrome, Portland Oregon, 500 meter tt - 33.5”, Kevin Mansker
Alpenrose Velodrome, Portland Oregon, flying lap - 14.8” Kevin Mansker
Dean Tracy, Michael Blatchford and Kevin Mansker
• Marymoor Velodrome, Redmond WA, team sprint – 1:18.14” Dean Tracy, Michael Blatchford and Kevin Mansker
• 7-11 Colorado Springs, Colorado, flying lap, Kevin Mansker
• Home Depot Center, Carson CA, 200 meter record -10.0182” Jimmy Watkins
US National records
• Standing 250 start -17.815” Dean Tracy
• Team sprint – 44.036” Dean Tracy, Michael Blatchford, Jimmy Watkins
North America record
• Team sprint – 44.036” Dean Tracy, Michael Blatchford, Jimmy Watkins
Hello family, friends, fans and supporters of Project London 2012 p/b Land Rover Select CPO,
As the London Olympics draw near, we want to take this moment to publicly thank our sponsors, Land Rover Select CPO, Felt Bicycles, Atomic Coating, 3T Cycling, Victoria tires, Rolf Wheels, Gita sporting goods, DMT, Oakley, Honey Stinger and Giro for their continual support of Michael Blatchford, Kevin Mansker, Daniel Walker, Jimmy Watkins and Dean Tracy. It’s the support of our generous sponsors that made it possible for us to make a bid to try an earn enough points to qualify the United States, in the discipline of team sprint for the London Olympics.
There were a few bumps and missteps along the way, but the guys never quit. They sacrificed everything to push forward, and when it was clear the U.S. would not qualify a team in the team sprint, they quickly shifted their focus to the men’s sprint to gain enough points to earn the U.S a spot in London.
We are proud of each and every rider on this team, for the selflessness that they displayed to achieve one collective goal. It has been a long campaign, starting from scratch in October of 2010 through to today, where we now have a rider headed to the London Olympics. We hope you are proud too of how they have represented the United States at the World Cups, Pan American Championships and Pan American Games, as well as at countless domestic races. Michael, Kevin, Daniel, Jimmy and Dean achieved a lot in 20 months, both in an out of the velodrome, but the best is still yet to come as Jimmy heads to London next month.
It’s our hope that Project London 2012 p/b Land Rover Select CPO has inspired others and sparked a small revolution within the track community, one that will see more teams form and help to build a strong culture of track cycling in the US so that the next generation of athletes have a clear path to follow from grass roots to World Cups and ultimately to the Olympics.
Now that Summer 2012 is here, it’s time to have some fun, break a few more track records and cheer Jimmy Watkins on. After London, we will be readjusting our sights towards the next big goal and looking for additional sponsorships to put the United States track program in the driver’s seat for RIO 2016.
Keep pedaling –
Project London 2012 p/b Land Rover Select CPO Management Team
By Michael Blatchford
To all my friends and fans,
I regret to inform you that the decision over the sole Olympic Sprint spot did not go in my favor. It was awarded to Jimmy Watkins, a fellow Project London rider and good friend and I wish him the best. With that decision however comes my announcement to retire from the world of competitive sport.
It has been a swift 18 months. Coming out of retirement to make a bid for the London Games was a long shot. I had no idea what to expect. Looking back on what can only be called a very successful season, I could never have predicted where and how God has used me, blowing past my perceived limitations, further developing my performance and abilities. There were absolutely ups and downs. Some of the biggest came within the span of hours, others were much longer peaks and valleys. There is no doubt missing out on this Olympics is a tough pill to swallow, but I learned along the road to Beijing Games that I would not be defined by cycling, but by what I brought to cycling.
There are many skills and experiences that I could not have earned any other way than through the perseverance of the trials the last year and a half have brought me. The bitterness of losing the opportunity to represent in London has been tempered however, sweetened by the wonderful Cristin Walker. A great athlete in her own right, this amazing woman as come alongside me and shown me a love I have never known. I will always have memories of cycling, pangs of “What if?” especially during the Games, but nothing compares with the fulfillment of having someone to share them with.
I want to again thank all my sponsors for their support and belief in my endeavors. Please support them as they have me. From the rock solid Felt frames, incomparable Oakley performance wear, the speed gurus at Rolf Prima, Land Rover for helping to realize Project London’s vision, our partners in Livestrong (keep fighting!), 3T and Vittoria for keeping me in the best equipment, DMT for keeping me in stellar kicks, Giro for protecting my noggin’ in style, to my personal nutrition sponsor Shaklee – everyone has helped, played a role in my success, and I am very grateful.
A special shout out to Jamie Staff who convinced me to put a helmet on again. Without his knowledge, guidance and the energy of five people I would not have had the opportunity to return to track cycling.
Lastly, a big heartfelt thank you to Norrene Godfrey, Project London team manager and mom. You can stay hidden in the background all you like Norrene, but without your experience, willingness to learn new things and desire to see us succeed, Project London would never have existed. You put your whole being into this team and it showed. You kept us a family even when we bickered, focused us, taught us to believe in ourselves, finding faith when we thought there was none. I may be off a track bike now, but you are always going to be stuck with me.
Report courtesy of T-Town
More photos here:
Opening night of the 2012 World Series of Bicycling was hyped as East vs. West all week, and when it came down to the final of the US Sprint Gran Prix on Friday night, it was exactly that: East vs. West.
Michael Blatchford, of Cypress, Calif., went head-to-head with Bethlehem native Giddeon Massie for bragging rights in one of the best-contested sprint event at Valley Preferred Cycling Center in recent years. The 333-meter track has seen its fair share of excitement on its 28 degrees of banking, but few events have come close to tonight’s sprint final.
Massie and Blatchford swapped the lead several times over the short distance, but it was Blatchford that got to the line first for the win.
“I never expected to win tonight; I qualified fifth,” said Blatchford, who rides for Project London presented by Land Rover. “I certainly didn’t think I had any chance of beating Giddeon. He and I have a long history. We’ve been training partners and we’ve gone back and forth in races. It’s almost like flipping a coin to see who wins each time. Tonight we both just went at it with all we had, and I came out on top this time.”
Despite coming up short in the sprint final, Massie was just pleased to be back in T-Town, the track’s nickname from its roots in Trexlertown, Pa.
“It’s always exciting being back here in T-Town and riding in front of this crowd,” said Massie, who rides for Bike Religion. “That makes it all worthwhile. We had a great night here; there’s not much more you can ask for.”
US Sprint Gran Prix:
3- T.J. Mathieson
8- Ryan Nelman
One track Mind is a documentary on track cycling, featuring track cyclist from the past, present, including our very own Project London riders. It was one of those change meetings, between the team and an LA based Director Chictop.
Chicktop found herself in a Santa Monica bike shop listening to the mom of a carbon fiber genius brag about her so.
Aram Goganian of Predator Cycling turned out to be the first step in a long, still winding path of research and ultimate enamorrment with the sport of Track Cycling.
Chicktop is best known for short documentaries and commercials on the subject of Fashion – and – like the athletes she has come to know and respect – she wanted to challenge the boundaries.
She wanted to show that an eye was an eye – that a passion for the subject was the main ingredient to creating the strong, effective communication.
She found that connection when interviewing a broad range of track cyclists – from national title-holders and world record breakers to stand-outs in their first year of the sport.
She witnessed the hoards of cyclists converting to the track. On many a night - she could be found hanging out with the droves of former messengers and BMX thrill seekers on their first few laps at the Encino Velodrome. With this, she came to understand the wave of interest in this sport is on the verge of explosion.
Through the support of her representatives – Supply and Demand Integrated, Chicktop filmed a large part of her project in Portland at Alpenrose Velodrome. The goal of the films was to convey the message of a country on the edge of re-discovery of a sport long over due for attention. It is hoped that others will come to know the movement was ignited by truly innovative athletes who are out to prove it’s not the achievements that make us great - but what we use to get us there.
Photo Courtesy of Jamie Staff
American underdogs Michael Blatchford, Kevin Mansker and Jimmy Watkins win Team Sprint gold in Mar Del Plata, Argentina at the Pan American Championships.
Number one seed Venezuela suffered a setback in the qualifying heats of the Team Sprint events when their team suffered an unfortunate crash. Team USA, consisting of Project London 2012 members Blatchford, Mansker and Watkins clocked the fastest qualifying time and entered the gold medal final against Canada. Venezuela eventually advanced to the bronze medal round.
In the gold medal final Blatchford, Mansker and Watkins, riding on an outdoor concrete track, rolled a 46”.491” to beat Canada and take Pan American Championships, earning a few more Olympic points for Team USA.
Next up in the Championship events are the men’s kierin and sprints, which will also be contested by Project London riders for Team USA.
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