Match sprints and time trials may are individual events, but mass start endurance races on the track often become team affairs. Affinity came out in full force protecting team mate Colin Prensky’s Twilight Series lead last Wednesday night at the Kissena Velodrome. This season’s point standings have quickly boiled down to a duel between CRCA/Foundation’s Cat1 road racer, Gavi Epstein, and Colin Prensky. Heading into the night, Prensky maintained a slim lead and would need all of the points he could manage. Gavi’s significant endurance from racing pro NRC and USA Crit circuit races gives him a potent weapon, and his attacks must always be carefully defended. Fortunately for Prensky, the Affinity team was rolling deep with Andrew LaCorte and Jody Pogue.
In the first race of the Omnium, a one-lap chariot favored the strong sprinting of the Affinity squad. Andrew LaCorte could not be matched, and Prensky finished in a comfortable 2nd place. Importantly for the omnium standings, Epstein was unable to finish in the points, score for Affinity...
In the next event, Epstein quickly reminded us of his breakaway abilities soloing to a win in the tempo. Prensky, suffering from the heat, was unable to maintain pace and slipped back to 4th, allowing Epstein to pull even on points after the first two events.
The final event of the regular omnium was a 6 lap scratch, which could favor the strong sprinting of the Affinity Cycles riders, or the breakaway strength of team Foundation. A quick team conference before the race concluded that Prensky and LaCorte would attempt to hold the race together until the final lap to protect the omnium win. Ideally, Colin would be able to take the omnium, and Andrew would work for his team mate. True to the plan, the final lap came down to a bunch gallop. Sensing that Colin was poorly poorly positioned, Andrew opened up his sprint, determined to ensure that Affinity would win the race. With 200 meters to go, Prensky found a gap and with clever team work Colin was able to come around Andrew and the win, with Andrew taking second. This ensured that Prensky would be able to protect his series lead, but placed LaCorte in 2nd overall for the night, forcing Epstein down to 3rd.
The night’s feature (a 12 lap points race) didn't factor into the omnium standings, but offered up bonus points for the top-3. Epstein (being an endurance racer) was able to attack and establish a quick lead. Prensky, attempting to bridge to the move, was reeled in by Tad Marszalek, and the smart team riding from the Kissena squad saw Prensky settle to win the bunch sprint for third. Epstien dropped his breakaway partner and nearly lapped the field for the win.
In the end, Colin was able to grow his lead in the season standings thanks to his hard work and tactical defense of his team mates Andrew Lacorte and Jody Pogue. Way to go guys!! Check back weekly for updates on Colin's defense of the series lead for the Kissena Twilight Series.