Marvulli, Valente Set The Bar At MN Fixed Gear Classic
Leaders After Night 1
Men’s Endurance Omnium: Franco Marvulli (SUI)
Women’s Endurance Omnium: Cari Higgins (USA)
Men’s Sprint Omnium: Jonathan Fraley (USA)
Women’s Sprint Omnium: Jennifer Valente (USA)
Defending champion, Franco Marvulli (SUI) and Jennifer Valente (USA) established their authority after the first night of track racing at the MN Fixed Gear Classic in Blaine, MN. Speed was the name of the game Thursday at the NSC Velodrome as riders posted personal bests and speeds reached 60kph in the Men’s Scratch Race.
Marvulli won the fast Miss N’ Out final and took 2ndin the even faster Scratch Race final for a 1 point edge over Canadian Points Race National Champion, Jean-Michel Lachance. Lachance took the Scratch Race final thanks to his well-timed attack gained him a lap on the field with 35 to go in the 60-lap race. His 5-lap effort to take the lap showed a top speed of 60kph (37 mph). Marvulli, shadowed by Lachance’s teammate, Emile Abraham (TNT), spent 25 laps trying to equal the Canadian’s lap, but the peloton spoiled the effort. In a 3-wide sprint for 2nd, Marvulli edged fellow 6-day specialist Leon van Bon (NED) by a wheel-width at the line.
Marvulli earned his Miss N’ Out victory the old fashioned way – at the front. The Swiss World Champion set a blistering pace that shed riders every other lap. Van Bon exited the race early, thanks to a tire-shredding puncture – his 2ndmechanical mishap of the evening – after suffering broken handlebars in his Scratch Race heat. Lachance played the devil, before his 3rdplace exit at the hands of teammate Abraham and Marvulli. Marvulli and Abraham fought the final sprint wheel to wheel, with Marvulli taking the win.
In the women’s sprints, Jennifer Valente (USA), the reigning Junior National Sprint Champion, scored a personal best of 11.6 in the Flying 200, just shy of the track record of 11.587. She continued her dominance in the match sprint rounds, surpassing junior Payton Thomas (USA) and Kim Edwards (USA) on her way to the gold medal round. Valente edged fellow national sprint team member Maddie Godby (USA) in 2 rides for gold. Tela Crane (USA) bested Edwards for bronze, coming from deep deficits in both rides to secure the medal. Valente claimed 2ndplace in the Chariot Final in a close finish just behind Crane and ahead of Godby.
Decorated US racer Cari Higgins showed her national championship talent. In the women’s endurance events. Her dominant performance in the 12-lap Tempo Race featured 4 1stplace sprints and 4 2ndplace sprints. In a crash-marred Points Race, Higgins again took maximum points in nearly every sprint. With 30 laps to go, 3 riders went down, leaving one rider lying in the sprinters lane for several laps. The race was neutralized as the rider was assisted from the track and the race was eventually re-started from the rail with 25 to go. Higgins snatched the final two sprints, nearly lapping the field as she crossed the line the final time.
Jonathan Fraley (USA) claimed the Keirin victory and the opening lead in the sprint omnium. Fraley took the motor position and maintained his spot at the head of the pack all the way to the line. Fraley added a 2nd place finish in the 3-lap Sprint Wheelrace, just missing the win thanks to a well-executed bike throw by Jeff Whiteman (USA).