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Slipstream rider shines in Beijing

Michael Friedman (Slipstream/Chipotle)

Michael Friedman (Slipstream/Chipotle) (Image credit: Kurt Jambretz)

Team Slipstream-Chipotle's Michael Friedman earned the gold medal in the men's scratch race at the UCI Track World Cup in Beijing Saturday. The 25 year-old American raced 24 others in the final en route to overall victory.

Friedman qualified second in the second heat of the 15km scratch race. He and seven others managed to gain a lap on the rest of the field before he went on to outsprint the lead group for gold. Walter Perez of Argentina and Tim Mertens of Belgium rounded out the top three.

His result was especially remarkable considering he was forced to miss the first half of the 2007 season after being diagnosed with a rare genetic blood condition called Factor 5 Leiden. He discovered the condition late last season after suffering form a blood clot in his lungs following surgery to remove two saddle sores. Friedman has also won the US national points race and team pursuit championships and a stage of the International Tour de Toona since his comeback earlier this year.

Friedman's result puts him into third place in the men's scratch race World Cup standings with two events to go.