The Velodrome was abound with Worldwide Olympic caliber talent with athletes representing New Zealand, Great Britain, Germany, Trinidad & Tobago, The Netherlands, Austria, and of course the U.S.A.
The International field was strong this Friday when Olympic cyclist Njisane Phillip (Trinidad & Tobago), whose family was seated just a few rows in front of me, finished 1st in the Final Sprint Standings. Not to be outdone Germany’s Marcel Kalz took the line 1st for the Pro Men Super Sprint Elimination and the Pro Men UCI 30km Points Race. The Netherlands Jenning Huizenga won the Pro Men UCI 15km Scratch to round out the International Field for the men.
On the women’s side the night belonged to Emmaus native Kim Geist who pretty much won every event she entered taking 1st prize in the Pro Women Elimination, Pro Women UCI 10km Scratch, and Pro Women 25 Lap Points Race.
Kim is certainly rides with an inspiring story. In 2007 , well on her way to a 2008 Olympic birth she was basically run over by a tractor trailer on Route 100 in Macungie. While Kim didn’t get the chance to compete in 2008 and didn’t qualify for the 2012 London Games she is aiming for the 2016 games in Rio. We’ll try to catch up with Kim this summer and see where she may be riding off to in the future.
New Zealander Stephanie McKenzie finished off the women’s field by out riding everyone to the Pro Women UCI Keirin Final victory in back to back weeks. Next week should be Stephanie’s last race in T-Town before heading back home so you will get one last chance to see this top women’s track racer.
While I haven’t been to the Velodrome in probably more than 30 years like a fine wine it has only gotten better with age. If you haven’t been there lately or ever you simply must go before the summer is through.
Executive Director Marty Nothstein , Alicia Marinelli, Matt Hagen and all the staff at VPCC put on a truly first class show. The action keeps moving and even during multiple intermissions the crowd was never distracted from the track. The food is great and reasonably priced. The racing is top notch – have you purchased your tickets yet? (Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting 610-395-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. General Admission tickets are $5 and Finish Line tickets are $8.)
As we have mentioned before Alicia and Matt came to the Velodrome from The Lehigh Valley IronPigs. On Friday night a crowd favorite from Coca-Cola Park and Parkland grad Ben Youngerman aka The Utility Man entertained the crowd between races.
I caught up with Ben and we talked about how he turned his IronPigs gig into The Utility Man entertainer. Ben was featured by MLB Network during the Winter meeting and will visit at least 9 different states this Summer with more probably to come. He mentioned he recently got an inquiry from Florida for his entertaining show. We wish Ben good luck and he’ll be at CCP in the near future!
Many thanks to Matt and Alicia for being so gracious and welcoming. I certainly had a great time and have some tickets for anyone who wants to catch a race – there are 2 to give so let me know. First Beer is on me – next one is on you!
Next Friday, June 28 is German night at the track with German Beer, German rider autographs and more. Pocono Raceway will also be at the Velodrome to promote the upcoming Pocono Indycar 400 on July 7th at Pocono Raceway. I think I heard a 100 lap Madison race as well – always fun to watch. Be there!
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Dishing while turning left