Kevin Mansker grew up a speed and adrenaline junkie, so when a buddy of his brought him to the Alpenrose Velodrome in Portland, Ore., it was a natural fit. Having never seen a velodrome before and having no idea of what a fixed gear bicycle was, the two high school seniors enrolled in a beginner’s class, with Mansker returning weekly to learn.
Mansker, the owner of nine track records throughout the United States, enjoyed a breakout season in 2011. He set the track record on July 23, 2011, in the Flying 200-meter Time Trial at the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond, Wash., when he registered a 10.779. The previous record of 10.781, which was held by Canadian Olympian and World Record Holder Curt Harnett, stood for 22 years. This was the crowning jewel of his nine total track records.
The 2011-2012 season marked the first international season for Mansker. Appearing on the podium four times at the 2011 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships was just the start of his season. He competed in all four World Cups, and the Panamerican Championships, where he won gold and silver, in the team sprint and the kilo, respectively.