First-time teammates Johnson and Walter win bronze in team sprint

Gea Johnson (FASTER) and Shelby Walter (Team Ritte) paired up for the first time at track nationals Thursday and came away with a bronze medal.

The two raced in the team sprint, a two-lap race in which the first rider pulls off after the first lap while the second rider finishes the last lap by herself. Walter, 28, took the first pull while Scottsdale’s Johnson, 47, handled the anchor leg.

“[Working with Shelby] kind of renewed my excitement and my enthusiasm and my passion for this sport,” said Johnson, who is a world record holder in track cycling and a former Olympic bobsledder.

Walter said the two met at the velodrome this summer in Colorado Springs, Colo., hit it off and banded together for the team sprint at nationals, clocking a time of 36.327.

“This one is so powerful and so explosive,” Walter said of Johnson.

They said they plan on working together in the future and improving on riding together as a team.

Mandy Marquardt and Madalyn Godby won gold with a time of 35.171.


Sarah Muench