Like the Kilometer, the Match Sprint is run over a distance of 1000 meters, but in a Match Sprint, two to four riders start at the same time, and they race against each other rather than against the clock. Although they are timed over the last 200 meters of the race, the winner of the race is the rider who crosses the finish line first, regardless of how long it takes. Match sprints work by a process of elimination, so that the riders must work their way up through several rounds of sprints, called "heats." Only two riders compete in the finals, which consist of three races. By scoring two wins in the finals, a rider becomes the winner of the event. It''s in the Match Sprint that you may witness a "trackstand," wherein a rider will bring his/her bike to a complete stop and remain upright, balancing precariously. The reason for this peculiar behaviour is that the rider in front is trying to control the race and wants to force the rider in the rear to come around, so that she can "draft" off of the front rider, following her rear wheel very closely, to decrease wind resistance and therefore conserve energy. By following in the slipstream of the other rider, a rider can not only keep a watchful eye on her opponent, but can also save enough energy to put on an extra burst of speed at the finish.
Dean Haraguchi and Bobby "The Bullet" Walthour battling it out at Hellyer Velodrome. Photo by Garrett Lau
Who to watch for:
Adam Duvendeck - The silent assassin from Long Beach is the fastest USA sprinter and has been battling with the world's best sprinters during the winter. Declared himself ready to break the 200 meters record of 10.88 (41 mph average) and Flying Lap record of 18.88 (40 mph average)
Giddeon Massie - 2004 Olympian who was once on the Bicycling Magazine cover is also a member of the 2008 Olympics Team Sprint. Have always been close to the top of all sprint events.
Matias Elgart - Exploded into the scene this year posting several 39+ mph average 200 meters runs. Is a member of the Montano Velo Track Tream which is considered the New York Yankees of Bay Area velodrome racing. Matias is also well known for his pink bicycle frame which catches attention.
Giovanni Rey - A local hero who's been an ambassdor of Hellyer Velodrome for many years. You just can't beat that kind of combination, pure speed, italian name and passion for racing. Is expected to challenge Duvendeck and Massie for the top honors in sprints. Also a member of the Montano Velo Track Team.
Kelyn Akuna - A full time Track Racer from Bay Area who has traveled all over the world to race. Came back to Bay Area last spring only to destroy the competition. Is returning specifically for the AVC again. Considered a darkhorse for the victory.
Jimmy Watkins - A newcomber who has posted extremely fast times at Los Angeles Velodrome.
Pete Bilington - One sprinter was comparing Pete's single thigh to his waist. That's how big it is......an extremely fast rookie.
Tim Montagne - a very fast masters who has consistently challenged young kids every time he's out there.
Karl Erickson - a member of an extremely fast group of sprinters from Colorado. A first time visitor to Hellyer.
Jeff Solt (Former National Champion), Bobby "The Bullet" Walthour, Eugene Cacherine (Collegiate National Sprint champion)
Thursday: Endurance Races and who to watch......
Friday: Keirin (the motorcycle race) and who to watch....