Stormy Weather Brings Gold Medals for New Champions

By: Tom Mahoney  July 29, 2022

Extended evening racing sees Valente, Koontz, Pattishall, and Hover earn stars and stripes.

Rain delays caused a schedule shuffle and late night on the second day of the 2022 USA Cycling Junior & Elite Track National Championships at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. A storm front pushed the start of the evening session to after 10:00 pm ET. To accommodate the late night, sprinters racing the keirin, who had initial rounds earlier in the day, had their final rides postponed until Saturday.

Elite Scratch Race

Reigning Olympic Champion in the Omnium, Jennifer Valente (San Diego; TWENTY24 Pro Cycling), was a tour de force in the scratch race for the Elite Women. Valente managed the field of riders, never letting anything get off the front, and pulled away from the pack with two laps to go to claim the national title. Former national team member and Lehigh Valley native Kimberly Zubris (Alburtis, Pa.) attacked during the field sprint and won that to take the silver. Yesterday’s silver medalist in the individual pursuit, Skyler Espinoza (Menlo Park, Calif.; Alto Velo), rounded out the podium.

Grant Koontz (Nederland, Colo.; Star Track Racing) took charge of an exciting Elite Men’s Scratch Race, going off the front halfway through the event with Tristan Manderfeld (Colorado Springs, Colo.; Chaney Windows & Doors) to lap the field. Koontz put on the afterburners with less than ten laps to go in the event, pulled away from Manderfeld, and re-joined the field, marking him as the man to beat. Eddie Huntsman (Newport Beach, Calif.; ButcherBox Pro Cycling) and Lance Abshire (Baton Rouge, La.; Chaney Window & Doors) attacked out of the field with six laps remaining in the race. The duo overtook Manderfeld with one to go and would earn silver and bronze, respectively.

17-18 Individual Pursuit

The Junior 17-18 Individual Pursuit saw 28 riders over 14 heats take the start. For the Junior 17-18 Women, Reagan Pattishall (Breinigsville, Pa.; Edge Cycling) proved to be the fastest on the day with her time of 2:33.563. Silver in Wednesday’s Junior 17-18 Women Omnium, Homare Yamashita (Breinigsville, Pa.; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) added another silver to her collection. Chloe Patrick (Carson, Calif.; Serious Cycling) rounded out the podium.

Jonah Hover (Allentown, Pa.; Edge Cycling) added another gold medal to his collection. The omnium winner also won the pursuit in a time of 3:36.345. Connell Alford (Chelsea, Mich.; American Cycling League – Detroit) earned his first podium visit at a national championship in the event. Luke Fetzer (Laguna Beach, Calif.; Lux/CTS p/b Specialized) earned third.