Some of the fastest track cyclists are headed to the Velodrome at King County’s Marymoor Park for two days of all-out racing as part of the 2012 Marymoor Grand Prix, presented by nuun hydration drinks, July 20-21.
Racing begins at 7 p.m. on both nights, with qualifying races starting at 1 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The Marymoor Grand Prix will feature several current national champions, as well as former and future Olympians, who will be competing on fixed gear bikes with no brakes and at speeds of up to 40 mph.
Admission to the event is $5 per person; kids 16 and under are free. There will be a “Kiddie Kilo” both nights and children are encouraged to bring their bikes and helmets to participate. A beer garden sponsored by Schooner Ale will be open from 6:30-10:30 p.m. both evenings. Food is available from vendors in the park, or spectators can bring their own picnics.
Friday night’s races include the “Keirin” – a race where up to eight competitors are paced around the track by a scooter as it accelerates to 30 mph. With one lap to go, the scooter exits the track and the cyclists compete in a one-lap dash for the finish line.
Saturday night’s action features more races, including the always popular “Madison” as a finale.
Named for Madison Square Garden, the home of track cycling in the 1920s and ’30s, a “Madison” race consists of teams of two riders with one teammate racing all-out and the other “resting” up along the top of the track. Exchanges occur once every lap or so with the racing teammate literally slinging his partner up to speed and into the action.
Visit velodrome.org/mva/ for more information.