CARSON, CALIF. (February 25, 2017) – A sold-out crowd cheered more than 200 of the world’s top track cyclists on Saturday night at the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup Los Angeles. The U.S. Women’s Team Pursuit squad won on home turf and a track record was shattered during the day’s races at the VELO Sports Center at StubHub Center, on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. Racing continues on Sunday with two sessions at 11:00 am PT and 6:00 pm PT, concluding with awards for the overall World Cup series champions.
The U.S. Women’s Team Pursuit squad was a favorite heading into the night, and the boost of a home crowd propelled them to the top of the podium. The team of Kelly Catlin (Arden Hills, Minn.), Chloe Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.), Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Penn.) and Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif.) posted a time of 4:19.990 to beat New Zealand in the final.
“We didn’t field a team at the first three World Cups and there’s kind of a lull after the Olympics. We came back for this home World Cup and really wanted to show what we can do a year later. And, we did that. We came out strong and showed what we’re capable of,” said Valente.
“Two things are really special about this,” Valente continued. “Number one, it’s the only opportunity we will have to race in the World Championship stripes, which is something that is special for anybody. Then, being at a home World Cup is incredible.”
The rainbow jersey proved successful for women racers throughout the night. Russian cyclists Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova, riding for the Gazprom-RusVelo team, won the world title last year and crossed the line first again on Saturday night with a time of 32.835 to defeat Canada.
“It seems rainbow power works for me,” said Germany’s Kristina Vogel, who also wears the rainbow jersey as the reigning world champion in the Women’s Keirin. She has won the event at back-to-back World Cups – claiming gold in Cali, Colombia, last weekend and again tonight.
A new track record was set during morning qualifying on Saturday. Denis Dmitriev, representing the Gazprom-Rusvelo team, and New Zealand’s Ethan Mitchell recorded matching sub 10-second times of 9.850 on the VELO Sports Center track in the Flying 200-meter time trial as part of Men’s Sprint qualifying. The two cyclists are tied for the new record, previously held by U.S. rider Jimmy Watkins (10.018 set in 2012). Five riders clocked times below 10 seconds today and eight finished with times under the previous record.
Dmitriev went on to win gold in the Men’s Sprint during the evening session, edging out Germany’s Max Niederlag in the decider race.
Other winners on Saturday night were Bugaria’s Yauheni Karaliok, who won the Men’s Scratch race, and Szymon Sajnok from Poland claimed gold in the Men’s Omnium.
A full day of racing is on tap for Sunday at the VELO Sports Center – the only permanent indoor velodrome in the U.S. The morning session begins at 11:00 am PT, and the evening session gets underway at 6:00 pm PT. The evening finals include the Women’s Individual Pursuit, Men’s Keirin, Women’s Madison 20 km, Women’s Sprint, Women’s Scratch 10 km, Men’s Team Sprint and the Men’s Madison 30 km. Award ceremonies will follow each final, and the night concludes with medals for the overall World Cup winner.
Complete results from the weekend can be found HERE.
Races during Sunday’s evening session will be streamed live in the U.S. on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. The broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 9 pm ET on Sunday, Feb. 26. Universal HD will air highlights from the weekend on Monday, Feb. 27 and Tuesday, Feb. 28 beginning at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET both days.
For international broadcast times of Sunday’s racing, visit uci.ch.
ABOUT THE TISSOT UCI TRACK CYCLING WORLD CUP LOS ANGELES
The Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup Los Angeles features the world’s top cyclists racing over two days at the VELO Sports Center at StubHub Center, on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. More than 200 of the world’s top riders are competing across both team and individual events from February 25-26 – Sprint (men & women), Keirin (men & women), Scratch (15 km men & 10 km women), Madison (30 km men & 20 km women), Individual Pursuit (women), Team Pursuit (women), Omnium (men), and the Team Sprint (men & women). All riders are attempting to collect valuable points to propel them to the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships to be held in Hong Kong on April 12-16. This weekend’s racing is the final major competition prior to Hong Kong, and the first World Cup race in the United States since 2008.
Brian Hodes / VeloImages/AEG