Carson, CA – On Friday, September 28, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist, Lauren Tamayo, just several weeks removed from her Silver Medal performance with her Team USA teammates in London, returned to track cycling in the United States and alongside her Team Exergy TWENTY12 teammates Cari Higgins and Jackie Crowell, won the gold medal in Women’s Team Pursuit at the USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships 2012 at the Velo Sports Center in Carson, California. The three women won the event with a time of 3 minutes and 37 seconds, a full four seconds faster than their qualifying time earlier on Friday morning.
Perhaps an even bigger story than the women of Team Exergy TWENTY12 emerging victorious tonight in the Velo Sports Center in Southern California was the growth in the number of women’s teams competing this year. In 2011, there were just three women’s teams registered to compete at the National Championships, while in 2012, eight teams registered.
There was no doubt the women of Team USA dominated the Olympic Games in London last month, and there was no question the impact of Olympic-caliber athletes and Olympic medal winners competing in USA Cycling’s Elite Track National Championships has been positive.
Following the race, a smiling and elated Tamayo said, “I am really happy to come home from the Olympics and see the momentum carry on for the sport and see the growth in women at the race. This is my first Elite National Championships and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort put out tonight. I must admit though, it’s a bit weird winning a USA title after a medal in the Olympics but it is a great feeling nonetheless!”
Nicola Cranmer, General Manager of the Women’s UCI Professional Cycling Team, Exergy TWENTY12, stated, “Lauren’s commitment to her craft is apparent. While many athletes take a reprieve after the Olympics, Lauren was determined to share her Olympic Silver Medal winning experience with a new generation of team pursuit riders.”
“Lauren’s teammate, Jackie Crowell, arrived at US Elite Track Nationals with very little track experience and no team pursuit experience. Yet after just three days of mentoring, Jackie, along with Cari Higgins and Tamayo, were able to win the Gold Medal National Title tonight here in Carson (California) at the Velo Sports Center. That’s dedication and commitment,” Cranmer concluded.
Cari Higgins, who enjoyed the victory earlier this evening alongside her Exergy TWENTY12 teammates, said, “It’s an honor to be part of this movement where there are so many women on the track after the Olympics. This is incredible! And of course, a big shout out to Hellyer Velodrome for bringing so many women in!”
Jackie Crowell added, “I am ecstatic to win a national champions jersey and honored to ride next to Lauren, an Olympic Silver Medalist in this event. She has shown me the ropes and I can’t wait to keep working with her in the future.”
Since returning from London, Tamayo has had the honor of meeting and being recognized by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with other members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, in a ceremony held on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, September 14, 2012. In addition, she was one of nine recipients representing the Women of Team USA’s 2012 Olympic Team receiving the Inspiring Women Award from the WNBA in New York just days before her White House appearance.
Tamayo, along with her Olympic and Exergy TWENTY12 teammates, is committed to inspiring a nation and a generation of young women in sports through her Olympic success.