"Different strokes for different folks" is how the saying goes. After two days of racing at Matrix Track Cup p/b Richardson Bike Mart to kick off the ATRA National Championship Series that saying has been well illustrated as at least five different racers can walk away with a claim to being the best in the series "so far".
In the women's races, Suzie Goodwin (Frisco Cycling Club/Richardson Bike Mart) swept the sprint distance events to lay claim to a solid, early lead in the ATRA NCS Women's Sprint Standings. Lauren Roberston (Bicycles Plus) took all four endurance distance events for the edge in the ATRA NCS Overalls, as well as a solid edge in the ATRA Endurance Standings. Robertson also took the top Women's prize for the weekend in the International Omnium styled format.
The picture was even more unsettled with the Men, as Andrew Armstrong (Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart) won the International Omnium with a clear double-digit point margin. However, Alexander Gil (Nitroshot) won two races on his way to claiming first place in the ATRA NCS Overall Standings. Gil also holds the lead in the ATRA Sprint Standings. Brendan Sharpe (CREDO Racing) won the two longest races of the weekend, and sits atop the ATRA NCS Endurance Standings.
Robertson began Day Two tied with Goodwin in both the Omnium standings and ATRA Overalls, but won the first two events on Sunday (Pursuit and Scratch) to take control. Goodwin asserted her command of the sprint distance by finishing out the Omnium with a win in the 500m TT (40.612). Brandi Lafleur (Plano Athletic Cycling Club) and Erin Popovich (Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart) swapped omnium places during the day and ended tied on points. Lafleur took the tiebreaker to claim third place for the weekend. Popovich, on the other hand, rode her strength in the shorter events to claim a tie for second place in the ATRA NCS Sprint Standings, and the third spot in the ATRA Overalls. Cindi Vargas (Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart) claimed 5th in the Omnium with a Sunday highlighted by a 3rd place finish in the Pursuit.
Armstrong led the Men's Omnium most of the weekend, but he truly took command with his victory in the 4K Pursuit. That win opened up a double-digit point margin that survived to the end, although a lot of jockeying for position occurred for the rest of the top spots. Armstrong's Omnium win was a hallmark of consistent riding, as he finished in the top three in all events but the Scratch (6thplace). Armstrong did ride strongly in that Scratch race to help neutralize a dangerous breakaway initiated by Mat Stephens (Bicycles Plus) and Andrew Carlberg (Team Spincycle), who were tied for second place in the omnium at the time.
Gil also recorded five top-3 race finishes, including victories in both the Elimination and the Kilo TT. His strong performance across the board rewarded him with leads in both the ATRA NCS Overall Standings, as well as the ATRA Sprint Distance Standings. His disappointing result in Saturday's Points Race cost him a shot at the Omnium win, but by winning the final event he was able to jump up into the second place Omnium spot by a single point over Carlberg. Gil had begun the day in 6th place. Gil won the Kilo in 1:11.818 to finish that dramatic move.
Sharpe's wins in Saturday's Points Race and Sunday's Scratch may have been his only two top three results of the weekend, but the 14 ATRA points scored in those two races were almost enough to put him ahead of both Gil and Armstrong in the NCS Endurance Standings. A 4th and a 5th place in the other two Endurance events were enough to give him the early edge in that table.
Carlberg locked up 3rd Place in the Omnium on the strength of his only top three of the weekend a 3rd place in the Kilo. Carlberg was another model of consistency, not missing the top 6 except for a single 7th place in the Scratch.Joseph Lacour (Colavita) appeared to be fading after starting the weekend with a victory in the Flying Lap, but showed new life with a third place in the Scratch race to move back up into 2nd for the Omnium standings. He was not able to hold that spot, but instead finished 4th (just 2 points behind Gil in 2nd place). Stephens settled for 5th place in the omnium despite being in the mix all weekend and just finishing 4 points behind Gil.
Gary Ziegler did not break the top five, but finished just outside (6th/7th/7th/8th) in the four endurance events to claim 7th overall in the Omnium. His sixth-place finish in the Points Race was not his only notable result of the weekend, as he also won a combined 50+/60+ Masters Point-A-Lap Race on Sunday, as well.
Other age-group winners on Sunday included Will Rader, Sebastian York, and Nicholas McRight in the Juniors, and Robert Bodamer, Ted Kicey, and Sean Price in the Masters. Will Rader, Megan Baab, and Jake Boone each won multiple races as Category 3 or 4 racers, and Philip Snodgrass won as well.
The next stop for the ATRA NCS Series is the Fixed Gear Classic in Blaine, MN June 10-12. Visit raceatra.com for more details on the ATRA National Championship Series.
Final Standings in the Elite "International Omnium" for Category 1/2/3 riders at the two-day Matrix Track Cup p/b Richardson Bike Mart:
place Lastname Firstname Team 250m-points-elimin-pursuit-scratch-kilo-TOTALS
1 Armstrong Andrew Matrix/RBM 3 2 3 1 6 2 17
2 Gil Alexander Nitroshot 2 19 1 3 2 1 28
3 Carlberg Andrwe Spincycle 4 4 6 5 7 3 29
4 Lacour Joseph Colavita 1 7 4 9 3 6 30
5 Stephens Mat Bicycles Plus 8 3 2 6 5 8 32
6 Sharpe Brendan Credo Racing 21 1 5 4 1 5 37
7 Ziegler Gary OKC Velo 10 6 7 7 8 10 48
8 Attayi Eric Shama Cycles 6 5 8 8 19 20 66
14 Riders finished at least one race (minimum 4 races finished to qualify for omnium placing)
1 Robertson Lauren Bicycles Plus 3 1 1 1 1 2 9
2 Goodwin Suzie Frisco Cycling 1 2 2 2 3 1 11
3 Lafleur Brandi Plano Athletic 4 3 4 4 2 5 22
4 Popovich Erin Matrix/RBM 2 4 3 5 5 3 22
5 Vargas Cindi Matrix/RBM 9 9 5 3 4 4 34
3rd place decided based on tiebreaker: sum of elapsed time in all time trial events.