Race Report: Sprint Night - 14 July 2016

Full Results: https://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2016-1713

The stands were buzzing this warm summer night, as the evening of racing kicked off with a round of 200m time trials. The riders were seeded into groups of men, women, and juniors with competitive times. The fastest TT for the men was ridden by John Balmer (Century Road Club of America) with a time of 11.47, and the fastest women’s seed was Rachelle Wilson (Mike’s Bikes STL) with a 13.05.

The round-robin style tournament ran smoothly. In the men’s category, Eric Knackmuhs (Scholars Inn Bakehouse Team Tortuga) and John Bott met in the first round with a close match, and again in the gold medal round for a cat-and-mouse game. Bott’s jump on the home straight took Knackmuhs by surprise and he won the ride for first place.

The women rode steady, decisive races. Elizabeth Engwis (Scarlett Fire p/b Matthews Bikes),won all three of her heats with crafty tactics, pinning them to the rail until she was ready to sprint, leaving her opponent little time to come around. In her match against Rachelle Wilson, Suzan Young (Igo Fasnow Racing), a soon-to-be freshman at Marian University, jumped aggressively and took Wilson all the way to the line. The official made the call that Wilson took it by inches. Rena Smock (Igo Fasnow Racing) rode well, making the first move in her race against Suzan Young and earning cheers from the stands.

Ethan Franklin and Johnnie Lewis (Team World Bicycle Relief) rode for 9th and 10th place finish. Lewis rode aggressively in all three of his matches, hitting the gas first in this one as well and pinning it all the way to the line for a 9th place finish.

Brian Wind (INDYSPEED Sports Club) and James Abbott rode an exciting second round, with a huge near-comeback by Wind after Abbott created a gap, taking the race by a wheel-length.

Local junior stud Margot Grotland (Midwest Devo Cycling) was matched up against Morgan Wilson, a rider from the St. Louis area, for three close rounds. Grotland took the first ride with an aggressive move from behind, and Wilson won ride 2 with a powerful acceleration from the front. In ride three, Wilson jumped pretty early, but left the door open for Grotland to motor through underneath to take her second ride for the win.

Congratulations to the winners and everyone who came out and raced their bikes hard. And thank you to the fans up in the stands! We look forward to seeing everyone next week for some more exciting races.