Michael Blatchford

Michael Blatchford
Personal information
Full name Michael Benjamin Blatchford
Born (1986-01-29) 29 January 1986
Cypress, California, United States
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Team information
Discipline Track
Role Rider
Rider type Sprinter
Professional team(s)
2008 Cody Racing
2011–2012 Project London 2012
Infobox last updated on
24 November 2016

Michael Benjamin Blatchford (born January 29, 1986 in Cypress, California) is an American professional track cyclist.[1] Considered as one of the youngest and most dynamic American sprinters on the present-day track circuit, Blatchford has held two Pan American and four U.S. national championship titles in his career resume since he scored his first triumph as an eighteen-year-old junior in 2004. He also represented the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics and eventually led off the Americans for the silver medal in men's team sprint at the 2011 Pan American Games. Blatchford currently races for Project London 2012 pro cycling team, and works as a resident athlete for the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[2]

Racing career

Growing up in Cypress, California, where he was home-schooled through high school, Blatchford started his cycling career at age thirteen, when he first discovered the now-defunct Olympic Velodrome that hosted the track cycling tournament at the 1984 Summer Olympics.[3] Blatchford's visit and fascination had thereby inspired him to become a track sprinter, and eventually claimed the silver medal at the 2004 UCI Junior World Championships in Los Angeles.[4] On that same year, he outclassed Giddeon Massie and Christian Stahl for an elite U.S. national title in men's sprint that officially marked his debut as a force to be reckoned with on the domestic and international track cycling scene.

Shortly after his early success, Blatchford became one of the resident athletes of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He continued to floruish his sporting career with a first major international result, a bronze medal in men's sprint at the 2006 UCI World Cup series in Los Angeles, followed by an impressive, gold medal effort for the U.S. cycling team at the 2007 Pan American Road and Track Championships in Valencia, Venezuela.[5][6]

With an aim on the team sprint event for the Olympics in 2008, Blatchford teamed up with Olympians Massie and Adam Duvendeck to set a new U.S. record of 45.128 seconds at the UCI World Championships in Manchester, England.[7]

Following a stunning performance from the World Championships, Blatchford qualified for two track cycling events at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing by recording the fastest entry time, and earning an automatic berth from the USA Cycling Team's Selection Camp.[8][9] In the men's team sprint, held on the first day of the track program, Blatchford helped his teammates Massie and Duvendeck set an eighth-place time in 45.346 (an average speed of 59.542 km/h) on the morning prelims before they were knocked off by the Brits (led by Olympic legend Chris Hoy) in the first round.[10][11] Two days later, in the men's sprint, Blatchford lost his round-of-sixteen match-up against France's Kévin Sireau, and finished second in his repechage heat behind Japan's Kazunari Watanabe, thus eliminating him from the tournament. Earlier in the morning session, Blatchford grabbed a fifteenth seed with a time of 10.470.[11][12][13]

In 2009, Blatchford immediately took up a two-year sabbatical from the sport, when the U.S. cycling team disbanded the sprint program in track cycling.[14] By early 2011, he came out of an early retirement to join with four other riders for Project London 2012, an elite track cycling team, inspired and created by Rubicon Cycling LCC, that fosters the youth to become champion professional athletes, fulfilling their dream to represent the United States at the Olympic Games.[15]

Returning from two years off the sport, Blatchford managed to reclaim the men's sprint titles (both individual and team) at the 2011 U.S. Track Cycling Championships, and further continued his stellar ride as part of the team that registered an American record of 44.036 and earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.[16] Having been chosen by USA Cycling to be eligible for team selection, Blatchford sought his official bid to compete for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but he was shortlisted.[17][18]

Career highlights



  1. "Michael Blatchford". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  2. "USA Cycling announces 2012 Track World Championships roster". Daily Peloton. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  3. "Michael Blatchford: "Nothing to Lose"". The Good News Plus. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  4. Scrymgeour, Kristy (1 August 2004). "Second gold for Perkins". Cycling News. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  5. "LA Track World Cup 2006 – Day 2 Evening Session". Canadian Cycling Magazine. 1 August 2004. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  6. "Blatchford, madison team win Pan Am gold, team sprint wins silver". USA Cycling. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  7. "Phinney records fastest pursuit yet in 8th-place finish at World's". USA Cycling. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  8. "Phinney clocks world record, Lea, Blatchford look ahead to Beijing". USA Cycling. 16 June 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  9. "USA Cycling adds Lea, Blatchford to Olympic roster". USA Today. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  10. "Men's Team Sprint First Round". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  11. 1 2 "Reed advances to quarterfinals of women's match sprint". USA Cycling. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  12. "Men's Sprint Repechage Round 1". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  13. "Reed advances into Monday's quarters". NBC Olympics. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  14. "Revival on the Velodrome". Team USA. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  15. "Project London 2012 Launch". Daily Peloton. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  16. "Two medals for U.S. track cyclists at Pan American Games". USA Cycling. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  17. "USA Cycling reveals eligible athletes". ESPN. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  18. "USA Cycling announces pool of track riders for 2012 Olympics". Cycling News. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
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