Learn a little more about the current NYS Cat 1,2,3 Track Champion with the NYSBRA Rider Spotlight!
Name: Mark Wagner
Road Category: 4
Track Category: 2
Team: Deluxe Cycles Racing
Tell us a little about yourself: Up until this past year, I was turning wrenches as a bike mechanic, but now I’m working as a mechanic at the Rockefeller University’s power house. The schedule gives me a great opportunity to train and race. Beyond that, I like to go sailing, but it’s really hard to get out on the water once track season is in full swing.
How did you originally get into cycling: My brother convinced me to get a bike for riding around in college, which was in a small town in the middle of nowhere, Missouri. The freedom and fun that the bike offered was unbeatable. I was lucky to go to a school with a collegiate team. None of us really knew what we were doing, but it was great learning about training and going to races together.
What’s your specialty/strength on the bike: Track racing, of course. More specifically shorter scratch races and keirins.
What’s one thing people are surprised to know about you: Once I got hooked on track racing, I all but abandoned road racing. It took me 5 years to get my 5 to 4 upgrade on the road.
What does being the NYS track champion mean to you: Being NYS champion means I have the opportunity, and I would say responsibility, to really help promote and grow the sport of track cycling in the state. I’ve been to enough velodromes across the US to see the results of a dedicated track community that helps racers to train and learn together. For instance, in my ten years of racing, I’ve seen one madison at our track, whereas madison practices are a mainstay at most other tracks, which is especially sad since the name of the races comes from when it was raced at Madison Square Garden.