Wrap-up: Baumgart claims national title on Day 5 of Masters Track Nationals

All week long, Karl Baumgart (GPE Racing p/b Athlete Octane) was knocking on the door of a gold medal at USA Cycling Masters Track Nationals and came up short with silver medals in three events.

But on Saturday, the 43-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz. stood on the top step of the podium in the points race.

“Being able to win a national championship is a gift and I’m lucky to have been afforded the opportunity,” Baumgart said.

The points race, which is similar to a crit, involves a group of cyclists riding around the track for an allotted number of laps. Every few laps, the bell is rung and on that lap, the riders can pick up points depending on who crosses the line first on that lap, similar to a prime. The rider who crosses first gains maximum points.

Baumgart, who has only raced track for a year, paired up with Brian Forbes (Stone House Group P/B VeloVie) for some teamwork in the 100-lap race.

After trading off attacks with Forbes, Baumgart went off the front solo for several laps, then won more sprint points to consolidate a lead, with 60 points. The second place finisher, Benjamin Sharp (Stages Cycling) of Boulder, Colo., finished with 30. Forbes came in sixth.

“It was the most dominant race of my life by far, and Forbes helped me get it done,” Baumgart said. “Without him showing up it would not have gone like clockwork.”

Meanwhile, Lionel Space secured silver in the men’s 60-64 time trial of 500 meters, while Wayne Lewis took home fifth.

Space said he was disappointed by his placing and time, which was more than a second slower than his personal best last year.

“I knew that if I could do my best, that I had a good chance of winning,” he said. “Perhaps the effort of the 2,000 meters the day before took its toll on my legs.”

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Sarah Muench