Female track star Mandy Marquardt serves as Team Novo Nordisk’s only female professional athlete. She recently competed at the USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships in Carson, California and is now a 15-time U.S. National Champion, two-time U.S. National Track Record Holder – 500m Time Trial and Team Sprint (set in 2016), Pan American Track Champion (2017 Team Sprint), three-time Pan American Track medalist (2016 Team Sprint, 2017 Silver in Keirin, Bronze in 500m Time Trial) and continuous Team USA World Cup member (since 2014).
What were your results at the USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships?
I won gold in the team sprint with Katie Uhlaender and gold in the 500-meter time trial. I took home silver in the sprint and keirin.
How did you feel heading into Nationals?
I felt positive going into Elite Track Nationals. I arrived in Carson, California a little over two weeks ahead of time to train at the Velo Sports Center, which is the only 250m Olympic Standard Velodrome in the U.S.
Did you have any specific events you were targeting?
Overall, my goal was to do well in all my events and qualify for the Pan American Games.
More specifically in the sprints, I was hoping to nail down a good qualifying time, which I was happy with and it showed the progress I’ve been making on the limited time spent training on an indoor 250-m wood velodrome. At home, I train on an outdoor 333-m concrete velodrome, which means a difference with gear, warm up, approach, tactics, and basically everything you can imagine.
What was the biggest obstacle/challenge during the championship that you had to overcome?
Winning the team sprint with my friend and teammate, Katie Uhlaender (who is also a four-time Winter Olympian in the skeleton) was challenging and special.
My current team sprint partner – Madalyn Godby – and I decided to ride the team sprint with other riders hoping that we could find an additional rider to join our team sprint team.
Katie has been living and training with me for the past two months. She also started training with Sprinter’s Edge, and I supplied her with an aluminum track bike and race equipment. It was a team effort winning all three team sprint rides – qualifying, round 1 and finals.
Here is a video of the team sprint:
What did it mean to win on your birthday?
Winning the 500m Time Trial National title on my birthday (August 7) was special because it was the same event where I won a bronze medal at the German Junior Track Nationals less than a year after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Biggest success of the event?
I qualified for my third Pan American Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico. I race there as part of Team USA Cycling on August 29-September 2, 2018.
Back in 2016, I broke the 500m Time Trial National Record and the Team Sprint National Record with Madalyn Godby during Pan Ams, so I am hoping for more records and medals!
We are hoping to make it possible for Katie to continue training and officially become a new team sprint starter along with Madalyn and me. With three team sprint rounds, we would be able to swap Katie and Maddie out through the rounds, and I’d always be riding Man 2.
This would be amazing and I’d also like to change my training so I am on an indoor Olympic Standard 250m velodrome leading up to the 2020 Olympic Games.
Pennsylvania isn’t ideal in the winter, since the velodrome is outdoors. After Pan Ams, I hope to nail down a World Cup race schedule and determine where I’ll be training and racing this winter.
If it is financially possible, I am hoping to relocate and live in Carson, California for part of the year so I can train on that track. There’s a lot to figure out, but for now, I’m focused on the moment and giving everything I have for 2020. If we are in the top eight nations in the world for the women’s team sprint, we would automatically qualify for the sprint and keirin in the Olympics.