Biking at full speed is a unique feeling the Peruvian cyclists, who will represent us at Lima 2019, know very well. This enthusiasm is evident in the newly remodeled Velodrome at the VIDENA, where the Peruvian track cycling team trains for the six events that will be held in both men’s and women’s categories.
Coached by Daniel Gorina, six of the team members have been preparing for the keirin, madison, omnium and sprint events. Two of the athletes are Jeffry Olivares (24) and Estephany Valdivia (18), first timers at a Pan American Games who are determined to face major delegations like Canada, the USA, Mexico and Colombia. The events for both genders will take place from August 1 to 4.
“Even as a child, living in Pisco, I always loved competing in sprint events. I used to compete with my bicycle in school events when I was 12 years old, until I decided to try track cycling in 2016. I became junior national champion and was recruited for the national team. Now I train with my eyes set on the Olympic medal in either sprint or keirin, where I’ve set my best marks,” explained Olivares.
Additionally, Samantha Molina and Estephany Valdivia, who compete in teams’ category, have been training their synchronization for over three months to secure a place in the Pan American podium. “We’re testing new strategies to improve our times and particularly our drafting,” they said.
ABOUT THE EVENTS
In keirin, cyclers will compete in qualifying rounds of four to seven athletes, who will lap six rounds on the track. For the first 3.5 laps, cyclists must run behind a derny (motorbike), which will increase its speed gradually from 30 to 50 kilometers per hour. The derny leaves the track 2.5 laps before completing the race, and cyclists will travel the remaining distance on their own.
As for sprint, all athletes will complete a 200-meter time trial and the 12 fastest ones will qualify for the sprint round of 16. In the semifinals, two series will be held and, if necessary, a third one to declare a winner.
Omnium is an individual competition consisting of four events in one day. Cyclists will score points depending on their ranking in the first three events. Each winner will be allocated 40 points; each runner-up, 38 points; and each third place, 36 points.
The Lima 2019 Pan American Games is a continental event that will bring together 6680 athletes from 41 countries and will open on July 26 at the National Stadium. A total of 39 sports and 61 disciplines will be featured. In addition, 22 of these disciplines are qualifiers for Tokyo 2020.