Posted by Editoress on 03/30/10
The first event of the Thunder Pro Cycling Series kicked off last Saturday night (March 27th) at the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ontario.
The FCV was a buzz on Saturday night, when 26 riders contested the first night of racing for the Thunder Pro Cycling Series. The top 18 riders qualified for the five rounds of racing using a Formula One style qualifying format. The quick times came fast and furious in the opening rounds of qualifying, however, in the end, two Cadet (Under 17) speedsters from the London area dominated timing and scoring. Kristofer Ovsenek (Invita-FCV) set quick time of 8.281 seconds (59.993 Kph) with Daniel McKenzie-Picot (coachchris.ca) stopping the clock in 8.494 seconds.
Once qualifying was complete, the riders began eliminations over the next three rounds of racing, until the Semi-Final set the field for the Small and Big Finals (the main event of the night). In the first Semi, Ovsenek and Mike Nuttal (Cycles London) advanced to the Big Final with a stunning burst of speed at the start. The young Ovsenek attacked from the gun and held off Nuttal to earn the top seed. In the second Semi, Justin "Full Throttle" Zottl (La Biciletta) scorched the start, along with Lorne "the Professor" Falkenstein (Cycles London), with both riders advancing to the Final Four.
The four runner up riders contested the consolation final and, after two false starts, McKenzie-Picot outlasted three Juniors from the Invita-FCV team to claim victory and fifth in the final standings, with John Carden, William Simonds and Adrian George completing the top eight spots.
The last race of the night for the Series opener came down to two Juniors-aged racers duelling with two very fast masters. On the start, Kris "O" gained a bike length on the first two pedal strokes, and by the exit of corner two he had a four bike length advantage and never looked back. "Full throttle" Zottl closed the gap a little in the final 50 metres, however, Ovsenek has scored a very impressive win on opening night of the Pro Cycling Series. Mike Nuttal edged "the Professor" in the battle for third.
There were many other events to entertain the crowd through the evening, including Miss & Outs, Madison and Endurance competitions during the nearly three hour show. Junior-aged John Carden (Invita-FCV) won the Miss & Out, Brett Hueston (LCW) won the "B" Miss & Out. A number of scratch races were also on the program, and the winners included Vince DeJong (coachchris.ca), Fred "3/4 Throttle" Zottl and John Hueston (Aylmer Express).
Racing continues at the FCV this weekend with the Mary Kelly Memorial event. Mary Kelly was tragically killed in a pedestrian accident in London in January, and over $500.00 in prizes for the 100 lap Women's feature race on Saturday night (April 3rd) have been donated.
The Thunder Pro Cycling Series will continue for the sprinters, plus many endurance races, including a Madison for a combination of "A" & "B" racers.
For more information: www.ForestCityVelodrome.ca
Courtesy Rob Good
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