Portland’s Pearl District played host to a rare form of bike racing on Saturday evening when local Ironclad Performance Wear Cycling Team held their first annual Street Sprints competition. The format was simple: a three-block, side-by-side (no drafting) sprint between four racers at a time. The top two from each heat moved on and the bottom two moved to the sidelines to watch. There were separate classes for men, women, and fixed gear racers.
The loading docks common to the Pearl’s northern industrial district made perfect bleachers for the lines of spectators along the course, and the racers gave them plenty to get excited about.
There was some talk that this was the “first-ever,” officially sanctioned street sprints competition in Portland. But according to Oregon Bicycle Racing Association official Mike Murray, he competed in a similar race back in the mid-1980s. Among his competition was none other than U.S. track racing star Nelson Vails.
Ironclad followed up this event with another first; a criterium race through the streets of downtown Hillsboro. Way to take it to the streets Ironclad!
Here are the champions of the 2010 Ironclad Street Sprints (80 racers competed):
Jeff Harwood (Ironclad Performance Wear)
Megan Chinburg (Veloforma)
Anna Christiansen (Ironclad Performance Wear)