Here are some of my favorite racing photos of the past year.
Tela Crane, left, and Alissa Maglaty sprint to the finish at Elite Track Nationals.
Zak Kovalcik at Elite Track Nationals.
Katie Compton, left, and Cari Higgins in the Madison race at Elite Track Nationals.
Guy East and Austin Carroll in the Madison at Elite Track Nationals.
Dana Feiss racing the Keirin at Elite Track Nationals.
Matt Baranoski vs. Andy Lakatosh, one of the great battles at Elite Track Nationals.
Amgen Tour of California, downtown Los Angeles.
Girls field at Junior Track States.
Junior Track States. I’m amazed he kept racing.
Keith Ketterer breaks the world hour record.
Damian Alfonso at Paralympic Worlds, representing Cuba. Damian was severely injured retrieving a kite from power lines as a child. He is a very determined competitor.
The awesome Sarah Storey at Paralympic Worlds. She won gold in everything she entered.
Craig Maclean and and Anthony Kappes win the gold medal in the tandem sprint at Paralympic Worlds.
Greta Neimanas wins gold in the scratch race at Paralympic Worlds.
Here’s a photo gallery of the Sunday races from elite track nationals. Click on the photo and it will take you to the gallery on SmugMug.
This is one of my favorites of the day — T.J. Mathieson racing the kilo.
The Paralympics Track Cycling World Championships was the first time I’d ever shot an international competition. It was exciting to see top athletes from around the world coming to our local velodrome to compete and set world records.
This is Craig Griffin, coach of the U.S. Paralympic Team, urging on Aaron Jacob Trent.
The Chinese team was young and enthusiastic. The entire team came to the rail together to cheer on their teammate.
Lisa Turnbull pilots Karissa Whitsell for the United States.
A Chinese time trial silver medalist.
Laura Sobchik gave it everything she had in the 3-kilometer time trial. This was her first international competition.
The amazing Sarah Storey of Great Britain, who won gold in all of her individual events.
The Olympics aren’t the only games in London this summer. The Paralympic Games follow the Olympics in August, featuring disabled athletes from around the world competing in 20 different sports.
Two Southern California cyclists are among those hoping to go the distance. But first, Greta Neimanas of Cardiff and Laura Sobchik of Santa Monica have to do well at the World Track Cycling Championships Feb. 9-12 at the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson.
In this video, Neimanas and Sobchik are training with Team USA for Track Worlds. They are riding fixed-gear bikes without brakes–that’s because if you tried braking on the Carson velodrome’s 45-degree banked track, you’d slide off. You’ll side off too if you go to slow. But when you go fast, you can feel the G forces pushing you up track.
Both Neimanas and Sobchik ride time trials–racing against the clock over fixed distances. A 500-meter race is two laps around the track, for example.
For Neimanas, who rides with a prosthetic arm, making it to London would be coming full circle. She won an essay contest and a trip to the Athens games in 2004. The first event she saw was track cycling.
“I thought people were absolutely nuts to race around the velodrome on a bike with no brakes and one gear and super-skinny tires and 35-40 miles an hour,” she said. “And naturally I wanted to try it ”
Track Worlds is free to the public. For more information, click here