Saturday, January 20, 2007

2007 UCI Track World Cup

Last night myself and two of my cycling buddies headed south to the velodrome at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA for the World Cup track races. This is a beautiful indoor 250m velodrome with a wooden track that reportedly cost $15-20 mil. to construct. The banked turns are 40 degrees and would be impossible to walk up or down without sliding.

Racers from all over the world were in town to compete in different disciplines of track racing. Our program began at 7:00pm and included Sprints, Time Trials, Keirin, Pursuit and a 20km women's points race. That's 80 laps! We moved around to various vantage points throughout the racing and there's really not a bad seat in the house. I ran into a few people I've only been acquainted with on a cycling forum, so it was nice to put a face to a screen name. The racing was always exciting and the sprint finishes with a rider winning by a nose had everyone out of their seats. Its refreshing to see a turnout like this for cycling in a city known for its (in)famous ball-sports heroes.

Racers come out of the turn and head for the finish line.

American racer Sarah Hammer sweeps the women's endurance races, taking 1st in three contests.

More racing action

all photos courtesy of

Also spotted at the races was this guy

Also known as Floyd Landis, controversial winner of the 2006 Tour de France.

After the races were over my friends I went looking for a late dinner. It was about 10pm and we had no idea what was nearby. We ended up finding a Chili's just a few minutes from the Velodrome. We sat and ate and joked about "Floyd walking in to Chili's". After about 3 gags, we looked up to see Floyd and posse waiting for a table. They sat down and we called our waiter over and requested that he bring a beer to someone. The waiter got into it and asked "which one is she?". He didn't quite get it when I replied "It's for a guy." I quickly explained who Floyd was and now his interest was back. So we sent him over a 20 oz. glass of Red Trolley Ale, the waiter pointed to our table and we toasted him across the restaurant. It was either a cool moment or something only a bike geek would be caught dead doing. After Floyd's group finished they all stopped by our table to say thanks for the beer and to chat for a couple minutes about the races. Doper or not, he was a pretty cool guy who still has more cycling experience in his little finger than the three of us combined.

No comments: