Track Cycling - Tara McCormick Ready for Junior Worlds

Event -
London 2012 Olympics Track Cycling

UCI Event London 2012 Olympics
27th July - 12th August 2012

UCI Event Paralympics 2012
29th Aug - 9th September 2012
London, UK


UCI World Champs
UCI Event UCI World Champs
4th-8th April 2012
Melbourne, Australia

UCI Event UCI JNR World Champs
22 - 26 August 2012
Invercargill, New Zealand

UCI Event UCI World Masters
6th-14th October 2012
Manchester, UK


UCI World Cups
UCI Event UCI World Cup, Astana
4th-6th November 2011
Astana, Kazahstan

UCI Event UCI World Cup, Cali
1st-3rd December 2011
Cali, Columbia

UCI Event UCI World Cup, Beijing
13th-15th January 2012
Beijing, China

UCI Event UCI World Cup, London
17th-19th February 2012
London, UK


Regional Champs
UEC EventEuropean Champs
Senior - Lithuania
19th-21st October 2012
U23/JNR - Portugal
3rd-8th July 2012
Masters - Belarus
13th-17th August 2012

Australia Event Oceania Champs
19th-22nd November 2012
Adelaide, Australia

Asian Event Asian Track Champs
8th-12th February 2012
Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia

PanAM Event Pan-AM Track Champs
2nd-7th March 2012
Mar del Plata, Argentina



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Tara McCormick Ready for Junior Worlds


Tara McCormick Ready for Junior Worlds

20th August 2012: Tara McCormick has an aura about her that is infectious, even beyond the fact that she's a stellar 17 year-old athlete. It's hard to imagine what the nation's top junior track cyclist would be like, so one shouldn't hold expectations. But she is, through and through, a bubbly, authentically convivial athlete.

And it is due not only to her deep love of the sport of cycling itself, but the deeper familial connection she holds with how she got started.

"My grandma is actually the Masters World Champion," she stated, "so she passed the torch onto me."

Her grandparents were always involving her in cycling and her first pedaling experiences were with her grandfather on a tandem bike before she was tall enough to ride on her own. And these weren't rides around the block. Given her grandparents' immersion in biking, 40-mile rides were not uncommon (even on the tandem).

Tara McCormick Ready for Junior Worlds


As McCormick got older, cycling became something she found impossibly hard to stop.

"It'll be my eighth year [competitively biking] in January," she explains, "so when I started, I just never stopped. Not to mention it's nice to live in a city where there are bike lanes and cars are beginning to know how to drive around you."

Her appreciation for Long Beach has existed since she moved here as a baby after being born in Las Vegas. Not only is the city deeply appreciative of bike culture and slowly emerging as an innovator amongst urban spaces in this regard, McCormick has the only Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-certified indoor cycling track in nearby Carson that she is able to continually train at.

This training helped her regularly take on 45-mile rides, her most common route being Long Beach to Dana Point. It also initiated her towards her first long ride—100 miles—when she was 11-years-old, taking her from Anaheim to San Diego.

"We had to take the Amtrak back because... That's a long ride," she said while laughing. "I passed out for two days."

These cycling endeavors brought her to her first USA Junior Track Nationals championship, held this past July in Pennsylvania. She competed in an event called the Omnium, an aggregation of six biking events that include a flying lap (against the clock), a points race of 10km, an elimination race, an individual pursuit, a scratch race and a final time trial.

Each event provides riders with certain points, the ultimate aim being to score the least amount of points possible.

Tara McCormick Ready for Junior Worlds


The Omnium isn't just one event, then, but an accumulation of biking talent that spans different areas of the sport. Like Iron Man, it is defined as the ultimate competition and McCormick took home first place.

Now, her title will take her to New Zealand for the 2012 Junior World Track Championship, August 22 through 26.

"All the best juniors from around the world will go down there to race—it's certainly nerve-racking considering 20 countries compete," McCormick said, clasping her hands between her legs as if anxiety suddenly overtook her.

Despite the outcome of her upcoming race—of which she will be "crazy Instagramming" (@taramccormick17)—she has aspirations to continue biking well into future.

"I want the Olympics. I have friends in the Olympics this year and because of my age, I wasn't able to compete," she explained, with biking have an age limit unlike many of the other sports. "I will be in Rio in 2016."

If this comment—particularly following Long Beach's astounding performance at this year's Olympics—does not bring a smile to your face or pride in your city, well... Perhaps you should hop on that tandem.

Content - Metro


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