Suozzi wins gold in Keirin and kilo, extends medal count; Johnson takes bronze

Dominic Suozzi (Big Picture Cycling) brought home two more championships Wednesday when he won the Keirin and kilometer time trial.

The wins extend his gold medal count to three at USA Cycling Juniors and Elite National Championships in Carson, Calif. With wins in the match sprint, Keirin and kilo, he swept the juniors 17-18 category.

“It gives me a little bit more confidence toward worlds,” Suozzi said. “It’s good to be back and have the jersey again. It was a lot of hard work and it paid off.”

The Keirin, a race in which riders are paced up to high speed by a motorcycle, involves usually involves eight laps. The motorcycle pulls off with three laps to go, and the rider to cross the line first on the last lap wins.

Suozzi, of Fountain Hills, won three of three Keirin rounds Wednesday and made the race look easy. He will attend the UCI Juniors Track World Championships at the end of the month in Kazakhstan.

The kilometer time trial is often labeled as the hardest event in track cycling. After a false start, in which Suozzi toppled over, he restarted and won the race with a time of 1:05.763.

Scottsdale’s Gea Johnson (FASTER), a former Olympian and world record holder in the 500-meter time trial, secured bronze with a time of 36.580, a run more than one second slower than her best time – 35.328.

Johnson said she tried a new technique on her start and knew she lost time, tried to make up for it but was unsuccessful. She will compete Thursday in the team sprint.

Get Suozzi’s reaction, find out his strategy and learn how the Keirin is similar to a crit.

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Sarah Muench