Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 13th, 2011 at 9:05 am
If you're anywhere near Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland today, you won't want to miss a rare opportunity to see former and (perhaps) future Olympic track racers. The Battle on the Bricks Roller Races is a preview event for this weekend's Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge — one of the premier track events in the country.
Organizers of the 'Battle' say 2-time Olympian Jame Carney, Team Canada member and Olympic hopeful Travis Smith as well as Olympic hopefuls Kevin Mansker, Dean Tracy (both are local riders) and Mike Blatchford will be on hand. You can watch them ride rollers, ask them questions, or, for a donation of $15 (benefit for Livestrong Foundation), you can hop on a bike yourself and see how you measure up. The event goes from 11:30 to 2:30 today (7/13).
KGW-TV was down at the Square this morning. One of their sports anchors, Drew Carney, even gave the rollers a try himself (and did pretty well for his first time!). Check out the video below:
The 12th annual Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge starts Friday and goes through Sunday (July 17th). Racers will compete for individual events and for an overall omnium award. $13,000 dollars in cash prizes (split almost evenly between men and women racers) are up for grabs.
If you've never been to Alpenrose Dairy in the hills to the southwest of downtown Portland, you're missing out. The steep, 268 meter, 43-degree banked oval track makes for strategic and fast racing that is always fun to watch.
Also as part of the AVC, event organizers will host a meet and greet with 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Staff. Staff runs the USA track sprint program and has been working with local riders Kevin Mansker, Dean Tracy and others to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. The meet and greet will take place starting at 5:00 pm under the big tent at Alpenrose Velodrome.
More details at AlpenroseChallenge.com.