no one line

Bareknuckle Sprints
February 9, 2010, 2:03 pm
Filed under: accidents, crash, sprints, t-town, track bikes, track racing, velodromes

For your viewing pleasure, a compilation of out-and-out bareknuckle match sprints:

2000 World Championship Match Sprints, Gane versus Chiappa. No love lost between these two, apparently.

In the 1994 World Championship Match Sprint tournament the sprinter’s lane seems to be a mere suggestion. Semifinals: in Darryn Hill v Jens Fiedler, Fiedler forces Hill to the blue band so Hill forces Fiedler well out of the sprint lane. Coming up over that line that far is a special type of sharp elbows. Following that, in the same video, Nothstein employs the same tactic against Michael “The Big German” Hubner.

Maybe there was something particularly slippery about that track’s Turn Four. The finals of this tournament are here, part 1 and part 2; and to round out the tournament, Hubner and Fiedler duke it out for the bronze.

There’s also the famous match between Gordon Singleton and Koichi Nakano from the 1982 World Championships: round 1, round 2, round 3. Much nailbiting sprints can be found at this youtube channel: “See all 167 videos” … good luck getting anything done at work today.

In the realm of full body contact is the 2009 collision between countrymen Kevin Sirreau and Gregory Bauge: a recovery slick enough for trickster fixed gear videos.

Of course, any mention of bareknuckle sprinting would be incomplete without the famous ‘keirin carnage’ incident at the Trexlertown Velodrome, and among classic Keirin dumpfests is this football match. As a parting note – since I got on the subject of keirin – I can’t do it justice unless I link to this stunning performance by Theo Bos, who’s currently hacking it out as a road sprinter with a sullied reputation.

Have any more? Feel free to link for me and our readers in the comments.


5 Comments so far
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Bless you for providing Feb. cycling viewing!

I chose to watch the Singleton/Nakano battle — epic stuff. Not being a trackie, I could use some explanation: Was Nakano truly at fault in rounds 1 or 3? Also, why no track stands?

Nail-biting for sure. One thing seems sure: Nakano was one tough cookie. Reminds me of Ty Cobb, whose philosophy was, anything’s fair as long as you don’t get caught.

Comment by Velosopher

Epic indeed.
First off – no track stands, because, well, that’s just how that one played out, I guess.

re: Nakano being at fault: on the track, the pole lane is called the ‘sprinter’s lane.’ See here, between the black ‘measurement line’ and the red ‘sprint line.’ Somebody who takes that lane in the final 200m of a sprint (for the finish line, or during a prime) must stay in it; anyone else trying to come around must do so outside of the lane. I suppose there are times when officials look the other way or just don’t bother enforcing that – see my link above to Nothstein/Hubner in 1994. That whole tournament is full of sprinters hooking people sharply uptrack in that final turn.

My audio broke for a moment so I don’t know what the announcers say about the decisions, so I’m left with guesswork. I’d guess that Nakano was at fault in Round 1 for coming down on Singleton when Singleton had the lane. It was Nakano who altered his line into Singleton’s and caused the crash. The question, though, is why? Nakano looked over his right shoulder, though Singleton had been sprinting on his left for the duration. Did Nakano just have a total brain fart and lose track?

Round 3 looks pretty hard to call. Nakano comes down a little bit, Singleton seemed to be sprinting pretty high in the first place. Nakano didn’t seem to come down in front of Singleton; they just collided. At those speeds, if some sprinter’s thigh hits your elbow, you’re going down. See Bauge/Sireau link above for a good example of that.

Comment by nooneline

Thanks for the exegesis, it’s helpful. On re-viewing, in round 3, it does look hard to call. S claims N got under him and lifted up his shoulder, but it doesn’t look that way. I guess the weird thing is the re-run in Round 1. Seems like Nakano clearly violated the rules. Well — that’s bike racing, huh?

Tx again!

Comment by Velosopher

exegesis! haven’t heard that word since high school theology class.

yeah, round 1 was a bit strange. i’m inclined to think that the officials were keeping a light hand on things, opting for a re-run rather than awarding the sprint to Singleton, in hopes that the victories could be determined by victories rather than by rules violations.

Comment by nooneline

[…] rounds would be 3-up or 4-up, unlike the one-on-one standard (for your entertainment, here are some top-level match sprints). Tactics in a 3- or 4-person match sprint are fun, like the end of a hard breakaway, a person with […]

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