Franco Marvuilli (Assos) bolted off the front of the field on the last lap to take the win.
Blaine, Minn. — Kevin Mansker (Project London 2012) delivered a powerful message Saturday at the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic, bettering the Flying 200 record at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine, Minn. The three days of competition on the track served as the opening event of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival.
Mansker’s 10.5-second effort was .07 seconds faster than former world champion Roberto Chiappa’s three-year-old track record (also at the Fixed Gear Classic) and served as a bonus on the way to his win over teammate Michael Blatchford (10.66). On his way to the final against Blatchford, Mansker defeated defending Fixed Gear Classic sprint champion Matt Baranoski (Pure Energy Cycling) in the semifinals before defeating Blatchford in a pair of tight gold medal rides.
After rain cut Friday night’s session short, competitors in the Fixed Gear Classic worked overtime on Saturday. An eight-hour schedule tested the stamina of sprinters and endurance competitors alike. However, the 50 men and 25 women participating in this year’s event muscled through it with several nail-biting performances.
In a thrilling Keirin final, national champion Matthew Baranoski tore off at the sound of the bell before being chased down and nipped by Mansker, whose teammate Blatchford took third.
In the 60-lap Scratch final, Chad Hartley (Kenda 5-hour Energy presented by Geargrinder) put in early efforts to up the pace and Christopher Mosora had a short-lived attack to win the Nomad Marketing prime with 30 to go. Mosora managed to stay off the front until Dan Casper (Grandstay Hotels) and Colton Barrett (Kelly Benefits Strategies – OptumHealth) gave chase. That broke the field apart and positions shuffled with several unsuccessful breakaways. With a kilometer to go, Kevin Selker (juwi/First Solar) and former world champion Franco Marvulli (Skoda-Assos) went after the win, and Marvulli triumphed.
Seventeen teams relayed for the Madison Kilo TT. Blatchford and Mankser teamed to take the win ahead of the Ritte Racing team of Jack Lindquist and Joshua Ryan. Barrett and Curtis Tolson (Texas Roadhouse) were third with 1:01.01.
In the 80-Lap Points Race, the “Biking Viking,” Karl Erickson (ColoBikeLaw.com), blasted off and took the early lead by winning the first sprint before Marvulli took the second and fourth sprints. Once Marvulli had a comfortable point lead, he exerted himself only enough to keep his closest rival, Barrett, in check. Several brisk efforts transpired and dissolved, but a four-man break after the sixth sprint left the field half a lap back for the remaining duration. Marvulli went on to take the win with 18 points.
With a 12-woman field, the Miss & Out kept racers and fans on alert. After the first two eliminations, it appeared Terra James (Sweet & Salty) would be next. James’ deft maneuvers in a tightly-packed field caught her competition off guard and kept her in the race until five laps remained. As the pace intensified, contact between Colleen Gulick (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder) and Shelley Olds (Diadora-Pasta Zara-Manhattan) sent Gulick flying off track. Olds and Shelby Reynolds (Sugar Cycles) outlasted Valerie Brostrom (Bouledogue Tout Noir) to vie for first and second. Olds outsprinted Reynolds.
In the Match Sprint bronze final, Kim Edwards (CVC/Subaru of New England) maintained control of the race and outsprinted Beth Engwis (Project 5 Racing) to secure the bronze. In a tactical and high-flying first of three rides for the gold, Cristin Walker (Momentum Coaching Group p/b Atomic) chased down and outsprinted Maddie Godby (encompass Racing) after she attempted to steal the race. In the second ride, Godby held control but Walker’s well-timed attack resulted in the win she needed for gold.
Early on, the 60-Lap Points Race hit high-speed as Emma Bast (Speedfix Racing – Zubas) forced the field to chase her down with 56 laps to go. After securing points in the first sprint and chasing down several breakaway attempts, Jennifer Triplett (Broadmark Capital Cycling Team) joined Megan Hottman (Primal) in an escape. The two quickly took half a lap on the field before Bast and Olds pursued them. The field continued to shatter and regroup until Olds brought it back together. In a well-timed attack, Hottman lapped the field, securing 20 points. Triplett and Hanan Alves-Hyde (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) made a move with two laps remaining to set up the final sprint. The finish had Hottman taking the win by virtue of her 20-point bonus, leaving Triplett in second and Brostrom in third.
In the Keirin, two aggressive Keirin qualifying heats whittled 12 contenders to six finalists. The field for the final remained in check, even as the motor rolled off. Four racers fanned from top to bottom through the south turn, waiting for someone to make a move. As the bell sounded, Walker surged over Gulick to take the win ahead of Godby and Reynolds.
Frequent attacks turned the 40-Lap Scratch final into a high-tempo shakeup. Initial sprints by Jennifer Greenberg (Team Kenda Tire p/b Geargrinder) failed to exhaust the chasing field, so she forced them up the track in an attempt to hold them off. Her efforts were short-lived, however, as her rivals staged several attacks. After a heated sprint for the finish, Hottman took another win, with Olds and Appelwick following.
In the Madison Kilo Time Trial, Hottman and Godby teamed to win in 1:09.06 while Triplett and Brostrom took second despite a late exchange in the back straightaway. Reynolds and Walker were third in 1:10.47.
The Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic is set to conclude Sunday with Madisons for both men and women and team sprint contests in both fields.