For two days, Janie Eickhoff, 19, carried the United States in the NEC World Cycling Invitational.
On the final day of competition Sunday at the Olympic Velodrome at Cal State Dominguez Hills, America's veterans provided enough support to win the eight-team tournament and a top prize of $25,000.
Eickhoff, a 5-foot-2 and 125 pounder from Los Alamitos, won two more events Sunday, a tempo race and an elimination, and accounted for nearly half of the U.S. total of 107 points.
But she finally got some help. Sprint veteran Connie Paraskevin-Young placed third in her specialty and came back to win a 10-lap scratch race.
Sprinter Ken Carpenter placed second in a photo finish to Canada's Curt Harnett for five more points, and the U.S. team of Jim Pollak and Craig Schommer was second in the 50-lap Madison race. In the next-to-last event, a motorcycle-paced Keirin, team veteran Mark Gorski was second, his first points of the competition, to put the U.S. in first after all six team members scored Sunday.
"I had to go out and score some points," said Gorski, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist. "For two days I've been hearing about Janie (Eickhoff) and Ken (Carpenter)."
The U.S. effort overshadowed a superb individual showing by Italy's Fedrico Paris, who won a scratch race, miss-and-out and the Keirin Sunday. Italy finished second with 94 points, good for $19,000.
The Soviet Union, despite two more dominating performances, faded and finished third with 90 points, winning $14,000. Viacheslav Ekimov won a 20-lap scratch race, pulling away with four laps to go, and Erika Salumayae maintained her supremacy in the women's sprint, putting on a burst to edge Isabelle Gautheron.
"This is a surprise," one U.S. Cycling Federation official said of the U.S. victory. "The Soviets have to be shocked that they're not winning."
Canada placed fourth with 66 points for $10,000, followed by France, 58 for $7,500; Denmark, 52 for $5,000; Australia, 31 for $3,500 and Japan, 6 for $2,500.