The members of an American trio which competed at this season's Gent Six Day have several things in common. Austin Carroll, Guy East and Jackie Simes are young, ambitious and very good track racers. They all returned to Gent last month and performed well in the UIV Cup races. Cyclingnews' Bjorn Haake discovered their origins in cycling and where the sport may take them.
Most people will generally ride a bike in their youth, but not many take it up as a competitive sport. With the family background Jackie Simes IV enjoys however, there was almost no other path for him than to become a bike racer. "I had the freedom to do what I wanted, but if I wanted to go in this direction [cycling] it was encouraged," said the young Simes. His father, Jackie Simes III, participated in three Olympic Games, while 'junior' started racing at the tender age of nine. "I went to the local track once in a while and I picked it up from there."
Carroll has partnered with East on the track consistently since last year. This gives the pair a unique advantage over other teams, which are normally thrown together at the last minute. Carroll hopes they could continue to compete together for a while. "We complement each other really well," he explained. "East has a really good time trial and I have a strong burst of speed."
Read the full feature about the US track future.