The New Kid

The New Kid

📁 Featured News, Slider, Sports, Uncategorized 🕔04.June 2021
The New Kid


     With Covid restrictions easing race directors are again taking the lead to host races. The Wichita Omnium May 23-26 as always offered midwest hospitality with a dose of competitiveness.. Being a small all adaptive event that typically hosts 25(ish) handcyclists, it has been described as a handcycle reunion where we eat barbecue and catch up with each other, make new friends. The Paralyzed Veterans Of America showed up in force to race hard making up over half the participants.

The event started out Friday evening with the 15k Time Trial. Many hopes of PRs on this normally flat fast course were crushed by the 19+mph headwind on the return leg of the out and back. The 5 fastest times were posted by Matt Tingley (H4) 23:22;  Mike Sales (H4) 23:49; JoseIvan Perez (H5) 24:59; Steve Chapman (H3) 25:35; and Adam Finney (H3) 25:57.

Newcomer JoseIvan Perez, the only H5 competitor, represented his division well on his new Carbonbike K2 kneeler. It was also great to see a field of 5 recumbent trike athletes represented, with Larry Seidman posting the fastest time in this category.

Women were represented by Velette Britt (H3). She ground out a 30:12 and Jataya Taylor (H4) managed a 37:37.

pictured Velette Britt on left, Jataya Taylor on right


Saturday morning’s 24 mile road race started out chilly and raining. Shivering athletes were launched as the whistle blew. They soon warmed up, however, as JoseIvan Perez pushed the pace early to separate the pack and form the lead peloton. Around 15 minutes into the race the drizzle subsided, the winds became light and the overcast sky created near ideal conditions… we had ourselves a RACE! The Omnium can be won by a win of all 3 days of racing, called a “sweep”, or by winning 2 of the 3 races. The division winners from Friday’s TT were trying their best to win the day’s road race, thereby locking in an early victory as the Omnium’s Grand Champion (GC). This led to several interesting battles playing out. The closest races were between Mike Sales and Matt Tingley in H4; H3 had Steve Chapman facing off against Adam Finney. Based on the TT results it seemed that both Tingley and Chapman would have the edge in the road race. Surprisingly, in both classifications Tingley was beaten by Sales and Chapman was bested by Finney. This made for an interesting battle for the overall GC victory that would be decided on who would be fastest on Sunday’s criterium.


The start and finish of the road race was set in the tiny town of Atlanta, KS where all the residents are friendly and supportive of the annual handcycle race. Most of the athletes and volunteers showed their gratitude by dining at the only restaurant in town, rehashing the race details over warm drinks and hot food.

Sunday – Lake Afton Criterium. It was a perfect cloudy, calm morning as the athletes took to the start line for the final race of the Omnium. Matt Tingly and Mike Sales, having won one race each, faced off for this winner-take-all finale in the H4 category. Ted Moss and Dan Stietz were in contention for the H4 final podium spot (3rd place). Adam Finney and Steve Chapman faced a battle for the H3 GC. The whistle blew and athletes accelerated hard down the long straightaway into the first turn. Some athletes report taking that turn at upwards of 28mph. The course was flat and fast, with a long straightaway followed by gentle winding roads, then a short, narrow, technical section before you’re back onto the straight, wide, drag strip. After 35 minutes of cat and mouse action, Matt Tingley outsprinted Mike Sales for the win and secured the overall H4 GC for the Omnium. Ted Moss bested Dan Stietz for 3rd place in the H4. Adam Finney won over Steve Chapman for the H3 GC.

While usually the race hype revolves around the top athletes, the best story of this event was that we had two athletes for whom the Wichita Omnium was their very first handbike race ever! Congratulations Marco Bungert and James (Terry) Frazier for diving into the competitive side of handcycling. May it be an exciting, fun and fulfilling journey.

Thank you James and Tammy Watson for always putting on a great event. The Host hotel (Hampton Inn & Suites Wichita Airport) and staff this year went above and beyond to accommodate all the adaptive athletes, bikes and special needs. To all the athletes that weren’t mentioned, you came, raced hard and made the event exceptional… you are very much appreciated. Keep showing up!


written by Mike Sales








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