Asheville’s Tamayo makes Olympic history with a silver medal!!
Update: Asheville Citizen Times: Tomayo Snags Silver by Bob Berghaus 08/05
LONDON — When Lauren Tamayo started cycling, her goals were similar to those of anyone else who takes to the road or track.
Work hard. Be committed to yourself and teammates. Never give up.
Do all of that, and maybe you’ll find yourself standing on a podium during the Olympics with a medal around your neck.
That happened to Tamayo, Dotsie Bausch and Sarah Hammer, who represented the United States in the gold medal team pursuit race against Great Britain on Saturday in an electrified atmosphere at the velodrome.
The national anthem being played was “God Save the Queen,” not the “Star Spangled Banner,” but that didn’t matter.
Only three medals are awarded in each sport, and the silver hanging around Tamayo’s neck looked spectacular.
“Every girl always says they want to go to the Olympics and win a medal,” Tamayo said about 45 minutes after her first and last Olympic experience.
“But to actually do it is a totally different feeling. It’s amazing. I don’t think I could top this.”
Tamayo, who has lived in Asheville the past six years, had an Olympics experience that could be described as unsettling. There are four riders on the American team. Jennie Reed rode in Friday’s qualifying race and then again in the semifinals. The Americans had a plan, they kept saying.
When they rallied to beat Australia in the semifinals, Tamayo finally got her turn.
“We’ve been working together as a team and it’s always hard when someone sits out, being in the fourth position,” Tamayo said. “We’ve all been in that position. We’ve been racing together and we’re here to support each other and to do what we did, and that’s get a medal. That was our goal all along.”
When she got her chance, it was against a pursuit team that is to cycling what the Chicago Bulls were to the NBA when Michael Jordan was in his prime: Unstoppable.
The trio of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanne Rowsell energized the home crowd three times over two days. Three races. Three world records. Saturday’s gold medal race was won in 3 minutes, 14.051 seconds. The Americans were some 5 seconds behind.
“They’re phenomenal,” Tamayo said of the British squad.
So was the atmosphere. The British are crazy about cycling, and they were fired up more than usual knowing that Sir Paul McCartney — the former Beatle, was in the house — cheering just as hard as his mates.
“Oh really? I didn’t know,” said Tamayo, when told of McCartney’s presence.
The place was like Cameron Indoor when Duke is beating North Carolina — totally insane.
“It was amazing,” she said. “We’ve never been at anything where the noise was as loud as it was tonight.”
Mike Tamayo, Lauren’s husband, was in the stands with Lauren’s parents. It was a special moment for him to see his wife presented with an Olympic medal.
“It’s been three years of those four girls working toward this,” he said. “Amazing teamwork. They are Olympians. And they are Olympic silver medalists.
“I could not be any more proud.”
Tamayo will stick around the the remainder of the Olympics. Then it will be back home to Asheville, where she has a garden that needs tending. She had talked of this being the end of her career, but she has the bug to do another year of road racing.
“I’m not ready to give it up just yet,” she said.
When she competes she will be identified as Olympics silver medalist Lauren Tamayo.
Not many riders can make that claim.
Update: Tamayo retires from track after Olympic silver medal 08/04
Cycling news. by Daniel Benson
American to concentrate on road career
Lauren Tamayo (United States of America) announced her retirement from track racing soon after winning a silver medal in the Olympic Games as part of USA’s women’s pursuit team. The 28-year-old, who started racing on the track at the age of 12, will turn her attention back towards her road career.
Tamayo was drafted into the pursuit team for the final, replacing Jennie Reed, who had helped guide the team through their previous two races.
The planned switch was an attempt to freshen up the team but with Great Britain setting world records in all three of their rides on the way to gold, there was little Tamayo could do to change the outcome of the final. The US finished in a time of 3:19.727.
“I was really nervous or the past 24 hours. These girls had a couple of races in their legs and with the crowd and the noise. So they had a chance to get their nerves and jitters put away but I just tried to give it my all,” Tamayo said
“We played it ride by ride to see how it would go. We knew that going into the final ride that GB were still going to be strong and we were just hoping to come with some fresh legs and give them a run for their money.”
“We’re thrilled with silver,” she added.
“Coming into this, six months ago we were fifth at the world championships, and I think that every country doubted us and whether we could be medal contenders. Our goal was to prove everybody wrong and show them that we had it. We’re pretty happy with silver.”
After the Worlds in April the USA team stepped up their Olympic preparation. The squad headed for Mallorca, Spain, where they spent two straight months training.
“We decided to get together in Mallorca and actually put together a good block of training in. Normally we only get together a couple of weeks before an event but this time we did two full months together in Mallorca in order to nail this ride.”
Tamayo will head home to the US and return her focus back to the road. After a long track career London marks her last track appearance.
“I don’t think I will race track again. I think I’m done with the track. I started my career on the track when I was 12 and so it’s bitter sweet to come back and finish my track career with a silver medal in the Olympics. Every girl always says that they want to go to the Olympics and medal but to actually do that is a totally different story and it’s amazing. I don’t think I could top it.”
Article on Citizen Times -Click here
LONDON — History will be made in track cycling today when women begin their quest for gold in team pursuit at the London Olympics.
This is a new event for women in the Olympics. The men have competed in team pursuit since 1920. Lauren Tamayo, a professional cyclist who has lived in Asheville the past six years, is aware of the significance of the moment although that’s not the biggest thing on her mind.
“I think it’s one of those that in maybe 10, 15 20 years we’ll look back and say, ‘Wow, we were there, the first American pursuit competitors at the Olympics.’
“Now though, we’re just focusing on the race and doing the best we can. Hopefully, we’ll be the first American medalists in pursuit.”
Tamayo, 28, has been trying to treat this competition like any other. That doesn’t mean she’s oblivious to her surroundings.
“I’m excited to be here, excited to be at the Olympics,” said Tamayo, who is a native of Pennsylvania. “All of it is new to me, all of it is exciting, all of it is a great experience.”
Her husband, Mike Tamayo, arrived here Monday and has been able to spend time with his wife.
“We sat on a nice grassy area and watched the craziness walk by in and out of the Olympic park,” he said.
“The crowds are overwhelming, and the energy in the air is electric.”
Other riders on the U.S. team are Jennie Reed, of Kirkland, Wash., Sarah Hammer, of Temecula, Calif., and 39-year-old Dotsie Bausch, of Louisville, Ky., and the oldest rider on the team. She and Tamayo are roommates.
“We get along very well,” said Bausch, who like Tamayo is competing in the Olympics for the first time. “We are similar, both in how we deal with stress and our styles of riding on the track. I like being around her. She has a calming effect on me.”
Past performance indicates the Americans have a good shot at earning a medal. In the 2010 Pan American Games the team of Tamayo, Bausch and Hammer became the first to compete the 1.86-mile event in 3 minutes 20 seconds, winning gold in 3:19.569. That record was broken earlier this year by Great Britain.
“The four of us have worked together the last few years and have developed a lot of trust in each other,” said Tamayo, who races for Team Exergy/Twenty12 on the pro circuit. “We are all very supportive of each other.”
Speaking of her pro team, Tamayo received a package full of cards and items she could use to decorate her room at the media village.
“There was a lot of fun stuff,” she said. “It was really nice to receive that.”
Ten teams will compete in the Olympics beginning with the time trials beginning at 4:56 p.m. (11:56 a.m. EST). The eight fastest will advance to the semifinals on Saturday. The top two teams from the semifinals advance to the finals, and the two next-fastest will race for bronze.
The event will be held at the Velodrome, a 250-meter track that teams will circle 12 times for a total of 1.86 miles. The result is based on the time of the last rider across the finish line. Team pursuit is composed of three riders who exchange positions by using the banking of the track in the corners.
“The time is taken off the third rider across the line, so we must stay together and support each other, knowing each other’s limits and body language to have the foresight to adjust our pulls if needed,” Bausch said.
“We also work off of our coach on the finish line who ‘walks the line’ backwards or forwards, indicating if we are behind or ahead of schedule and holds out any number of fingers giving us the direction if we are 1,2,3 tenths off pace. It’s pretty complex.”
The Americans have been racing together for the last couple of years. Over the next two days, all four are expected to ride.
“We definitely have a strategy involved,” Tamayo said.
“We are quite tight. A very good group,” Bausch said. “We have been doing this awhile now together. We have a system. All four of us will ride here, and we know that’s one of our strengths as a team, while some other teams only will use three riders.”
According to Ben Sharpe, track endurance director of the U.S. team, Tamayo is the group’s “smooth and steady.”
“That’s how she rides and how she lives her life,” he said. “With Lauren you always know what you’re going to get. She has an eagerness to always keep an even keel for herself and her team.
“She’s highly predictable on and off the bank, and she’s a phenomenal talent.”
And in two days Tamayo may also be an Olympic medalist.