Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:47 am Post subject: Florida State Sprint Championships: The awaited battle
Florida State Sprint Championships: The awaited battle of Lifshotz VS. Hernandez
The turnout for Thursday's State Sprint Championship was quite impressive! 17 entries. The 12 fastest times would advance while the rest of the riders would compete in scratch races. Also our favorite Juniors made an appearance for individual time trials. Once again the conditions were good for this 7:30 pm race. A light breeze out of the southeast and some spotty showers nearby. The breeze would put the headwind in turns 1 and 2 and the tail in 3 and 4. During the practice time the track felt fast to me.
After the first 6 riders did their 200's it started to sprinkle. The officials Carlos Laborde and Debbie Desario (favorite announcer too!) stopped the 200's for about 15 minutes. The rain clouds left as quick as they came. It did not take long to go through the 17 riders. The fastest time was by Roger Hernandez of Mundo Culturista in 11.54. Also in the 11 second club was Mike Lifshotz of Z's Bikes and Fitness/Clemente Cycles in 11.78. And Larry Desario in his first official race of the year with a time of 11.99.
There were many good matchups and exciting close finishes. After many rounds and repechages we finally reached the Finals at 11pm. For the Bronze medal, the semi winner Humberto Pages of Laser ES would take on the repechage winner Larry Desario.
Humberto would draw the bottom lane to lead the start of the race. Both riders stay high on the bank at walking pace through turns 1 and 2. This continues on the backstretch as Humberto keeps a close eye on Larry. Turns 3 and 4 show no change as they continue to crawl around the track. With a lap to go they pick it up a little but then go all the way up to the rail in turn 1. Humberto makes his move! He dives down the bank with Larry close behind! Larry stays on Humberto in 3 and 4. Larry makes his move to come around down the finishing stretch! But it is not enough as Humberto will take the Bronze. Humberto rode well tonight and Larry may have had a chance if his last 3 rounds of racing were not all in the last 40 minutes. Including a repechage. Humberto is also leading a local criterium series in points and the strength shows on the track!
The main event of the night would be the 2 sprinters that were most likely to make the Finals. The talented, very confident and vocal Roger Hernandez who many know as Spiderman. And the intense Kilo rider Mike Lifshotz that makes his races look like the hate factory. Roger has easily won all of his matches with top end speed running away from every opponent. Mikes matches were closer but decisive including one protest against the very talented Derrick Davis. Unfortunately Derrick came into the same sprinters lane already occupied by Mike. Mike is also a wind up top end sprinter like Roger. So what better matchup in this on going rivalry!
Roger draws the bottom lane with Mike on top. Unlike the race for the bronze there is no wasting time here as the pace is quick from the start! Power vs. Power, the side by side drag race has the spectators watching in amazement! Very high through turns 1 and 2 neither rider will give in and the drag race goes on as the speed picks up sharply. On the backstretch and into 3 still very high and still getting faster! Who needs drafting, finesse, or calculating tactics? This is shaping up to be a knock em down all out brawl! Both riders put everything on the line. 1 lap to go as they blast by side by side along the rail! Roger makes the move and dives to the sprinters lane in turn 1! Mike stays high for a moment to use the bank then shoots down to accelerate up to Roger! Perfectly timed, Mike catches Roger and then makes the move to come around him in between 3 and 4! Mike and Rodger are up to full speed spinning out there gears! In turn 4 Mike is almost there with Roger a half bike length ahead on the bottom! Something happens at that moment as Mike bobbles for a second. Thats all it takes. And Roger opens up the lead to finish the show and take the Gold!
Roger Hernandez has improved so much from last year. And he was fast then. The difference? More endurance conditioning in addition to his natural gift of speed. Result: Sprint after sprint without fatigue. He will be one of the favorites at this years Masters Nationals in Colorado. Mike Lifshotz has become a great all round trackie instead of a one dimensional Kilo rider. Losing 20 pounds and also working on endurance has made the difference.
Thank you to Z's Bike and Fitness, Clemente Cycles, Wingzflying.com and Mundo Culturista for your support and sponsorship.
1. Roger Hernandez - Mundo Culturista
2. Mike Lifshotz - Z's Bike and Fitness/ Clemente Cycles
3. Humberto Pages - Laser ES
4. Fortunato DeSario
5. Mike Pouldon - Laser ES
1. Roger Hernandez 11.54
2. Mike Lifshotz 11.78
3. Larry Desario 11.99
4. Mike Felling 12.19
5. Doug Ewing 12.22
6. Leonel Ramirez 12.28
7. Humberto Pages 12.30
8. Mike Puldon 12.41
9. Earl Henry 12.51
10. Brad Thaler 12.59
11. Derrick Davis 12.71
12. Nicholson Phillip 12.77
13. Abdel Salas 12.81
14. Ron Goldstein 12.90
15. Jerzy Pileszcak 12.94
16. Luigi Fabbri 13.13
17. Steve Arniella 13.19 _________________ www.floridatrackcycling.com
Roger was at the AVC in Portland this past weekend and I was very impressed with his sprinting. Very fast! No matter what his competitors tried, he was able to counter. In the first round, Woody Cox tried to kilo him from the gun, and even though Woody quickly put a huge gap on Roger and the third rider, Roger was able to pull Woody back and then jumped again to outsprint the third rider who sat on Roger's wheel the entire time - very impressive.
The 40-45 sprinters at Masters Natz are going to have their work cut out for them.
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