The Switch From Endurance to Sprint

At the end of 2012 season, I made the transition to go from endurance to track sprint. Why? Well, I’ve always liked mashing big gears. But in all seriousness, when I look back at all my best track results, they were from the 500m TT and shorter distances on the track, and I kept having people tell me I have the physical ability to be a sprinter. I let that sink in for a while. I couldn’t believe I was making the switch, but I am confident with my decision. So here it goes…

After a full winter in the gym and on the bike, I was always sore and needed some bigger jeans. In the spring, when the snow cleared, I got to get on the track and give sprinting a shot. So far, I was already enjoying the training. The efforts were short, but very explosive and I had to learn how to spin and turn over some really big gears. I was looking forward to making my debut in the summer of 2013, at the World Series Of Bicycling in Trexlertown, PA.  Throughout June and August, I raced against riders from New Zealand, South Africa, and around the United States. I enjoyed being a sprinter. I was going fast, winning races, being aggressive and having fun!

In August, USA Cycling spilt Elite Nationals. The first event was “Timed” Nationals in Carson, California, consisting of the 500m TT and Team Sprint. And a week later were the “Mass Start” Nationals in Rock Hill, South Carolina, consisting of the Sprints and Keirin. Under many circumstances, it didn’t make much sense, but you roll with the punches…

At Elite Timed Nationals,  I hit a new personal best time of 37.393 in the 500m TT, placing 5th from 17 girls. Then Jennifer Valente and I joined forces for the team sprint. We only practiced a couple times before competition, and it was my very first time riding the event. We qualified 5th with a 37.4. That was a lot of fun, and challenging since there is a lot of technique and timing involved. At nationals, they also had an out of competition keirin, and you qualified for a spot by your 200m seeding. I rode my very first “in competition” 200m qualifier in a time of 12.266. I made it into the 1-6 keirin final, and finished 5th. Fives all around….

Rock, Hill SCA week later, I was in Rock Hill, South Carolina for Elite Mass Start Track Nationals. The conditions were windy, and I was still trying to figure out how all this worked.I qualified 2nd in the 200m. I made my way through the sprint rounds, and for my first year, I made it into the gold medal ride against Tela Crane. It came down to best of 3, and Tela won the ride the 3rd ride. I put in a good fight. In the Keirin, I made my way through the first round, and straight into the 1-6 finals, placing 5th yet again. For my first year in the elite sprint world, three 5th’s and a silver medal was a great start, but I’m hungry for more…

As soon as I finished Nationals, I went straight back to the classroom to finish my senior year. In September, I was competing at my last Collegiate Track Nationals in Colorado Springs. It was my first time at altitude, and the air was thin, so fast times were expected. I qualified first in the sprints with a new personal best of 11.74, but at the end came up short and took bronze. In the 500m TT I hit another PB of 36.830 and took silver. I couldn’t believe this was my last Collegiate Nationals…4 years flew by.

Reflecting back on 2013, I love sprinting. It’s been so much fun, and I’m eager for gold in 2014. Thank you to my coach Andrew Harris of Sprinter’s Edge, Team Novo Nordisk, Mom and Dad, and my boyfriend Jamie for believing in me.

BRING ON 2014!

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3 thoughts on “The Switch From Endurance to Sprint

  1. I am so proud of you Mandy
    ,you have come along way from that little girl i met at Fraysees training camp,what really makes me so happy is that you choose to get your degree first, and now you can do some PRO racing for a couple of years and see what comes out of that,you have done what not many do in this sport,and you are at the top level. Good luck next season and keep up that great positive cycling outlook,life offers more when you know what you really want, LOVE YA!!!! FERN

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