There are a handful of must see cycling events in the bay area
- The San Francisco Twilight Crit (Bring it back!)
- The San Rafael Twilight Crit (July 10!)
- The Pilarcitos night time cross race (A little taste of awesome)
- The Testarossa Velodrome Challenge 6 PM Fri June 11 & Sat June 12
Arguably the TVC is the best bang for your buck – while parking at Hellyer Velodrome costs $6 and you are best served if you take the carpool lane down there are distinct advantages. The beer is free and plentiful and the prize money usually attracts a top flight field. t is worth the drive to watch pro’s, Olympians, and world champions square off against each other on 335 meters of concrete. The race is so big it draws the track specialists from not just NorCal but around the globe. Here is a quick primer to help you keep score.
Shelly Evans – Not content to be just one of the best in NorCal Evans moved onto the world stage last year with huge performances on both the track and road. Evans has shifted her focus from the track to the road since the UCI has taken a hatchet to the track endurance program and her specialty the points race. Expect Evans to show up one night before taking off for Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Giro.
Dave McCook – McCook is a former pro, multiple national champion, and local legend. He’s a fierce competitor when ever he’s racing and is always fun to watch when there is money on the line.
Beth Newell – She sprints, she climbs, she writes! Newell does it all and after a successful spring campaign on the road is putting the rest of her energy this year toward the track. She’s out for some cash this weekend, needs a new washer or something, so keep an eye on the “Bell with Wing.”
Others to watch: Sam Milroy, Matt Talbott
Jimmy Watkins – Watkins is currently one of America’s best sprinters having won all the big events at nationals in 2008. He’s a full time fire fighter making him a model for all cyclists with a day job and passion for their sport. Watkins currently holds the Hellyer record for the flying 200 clocking10.84 last year.
Gio Rey – Gio is a local boy currently riding for UCI Track outfit out of Colorado called Black Dog Cycling. Gio is a ronin of the sprinter set having traveled across the country and world trying to learn the best techniques to out smart stronger rivals. Gio’s come close a few times in the keirin, this may be his year.
Steve Peleaz – He’s skinny, tall, and known for spouting off more pop philosophy than Dr. Phil. Peleaz has spent some time on the World Cup circuit riding for the Philippines so he knows what it takes to compete at the highest level. He’s got the speed and the guts to make it in any type of track race, and is hungry after a narrow loss to big man Gideon Massie last year in the Keirin.
Others to watch: Pete Billington
Jame Carney – Carney is a legend in track circles. Some say he’s never lost a Miss and Out on American soil. He’s experienced, cagey, and fast. If the A-Team was being redmade from cyclists he’d be your Hannibal. Carney knows the rule book and isn’t afraid of going toe to toe with the officials as well as riders if it means getting the big win. Watching Carney and McCook go at it will be a battle for the ages.
Laura McCaughey – Hailing from Australia – McCaughey makes T-Town her home in the summer. Her favorite event is the keirin and last year she was relegated for impeding Carri Higgins in the final sprint. McCaughey rebounded and won the sprint event the next day, so inside line is she’s a good bet for the sprint events. Smart money is on McCaughey for the scratch race if Olds doesn’t show up
Others to watch: TJ Mathieson , Jen Triplett, Tela Crane, Jen Featheringill
The Old and Young Folk
Daniel Farinha – Farinha has been scaring the crap out of Hellyer-ites with his riding this year. He’s super fast and still riding Junior gears – what’s going to happen when he gears up? If this boy can hang with the big gears expect him to be in the money.
Larry Nolan - When god made man he realized he made some mistakes so he went back and made what ever Larry is. In addition to be a masters world champion and world record holder Larry runs a Hellyer race series and coaches the Specialized juniors team. The man is LEGEND. And he’s fast.
Pat Briggs – Briggs is a Hellyer stalwart and has been riding his guts out in support of the fledgling Yahoo! Cycling team. The experiment has appears to be succeeding as they dominate the local scene and have started making their mark on some national level races. Look for Briggs to break out a big race or two now that he can bust a cap on his own.
Others to watch: Ruth Winder, Tom Fahey, Doug Hall
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