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Festival of Speed - 3IM

Lehigh Valley Velodrome - Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, USA, August 10, 2007


Olympic track stars light up Lehigh

By Nathan Carrick

Ryan Bayley (Australia) lunges for the line
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

On a chilly August night, the stars came out to witness the unveiling of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome's new corporate title sponsor. Some of the best riders in the world were on hand as Velodrome Director Erin Hartwell pointed across the track and hundreds of blue and teal balloons suddenly leapt into the sky - the Valley Preferred Cycling Center was born.

Valley Preferred, an Allentown-based community partnership of doctors and hospitals that provides a variety of health insurance plans, has grown its relationship with the velodrome in the past six years, and that growth culminated Friday when the two publicly announced the partnership. In July the velodrome received permission from the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners to sell the naming rights of the track, but at the time Hartwell told Cyclingnews that a name change this season was unlikely.

Before racing started on Friday, however, Hartwell announced the partnership while surrounded by local dignitaries. Among them was Valley Preferred Executive Director and CEO Greg Kile. "We see the commitment that's being made by the management, the board and the organization going into the future," Kile said. "And we believe we believe being part of that and providing the funding to help increase exposure for their programs will be very beneficial for all parties."

Valley Preferred Executive Director and CEO Greg Kile addresses
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

Kile added that he has done some road racing and was a cycling fan before Valley Preferred began its sponsorship. This gives him a better appreciation of the level of competition. "The bar has always been raised at this facility," Kile said. "Bringing in talent like you see tonight is another reason why we have such great interest in participating with this organization."

And the talent was about as good as it gets. Ben Barczewski (T-Town Express) said even making it to the semi-finals in the Keirin would be difficult, and Barczewski is regarded as one of the best sprinters in the US.

The star-studded field included the enigmatic Italian Stallion, Roberto Chiappa, returning to the concrete crater after winning his country's national championship a string of victories here earlier in the season. Chippa wouldn't have it easy, however, as Ryan Bayley, Mark French and Shane Kelly of the Australian Olympic team were also registered to ride. Fellow Aussies Anna Meares and her sister Kerrie took up the favourites spot on the women's side.

Matt Crampton and Jason Kenny, members of the British Olympic team, along with Olympians Josiah Ng of Malaysia and Adam Duvendeck of the US would also ride the Keirin. Then there was 2005 World Keirin Champion Teun Mulder of the Netherlands, along with his countryman Tim Veldt, winner of the European Track Championships in 2006. All told there were 17 nations represented and two reigning Olympic champions in Bayley and Anna Meares.

Barczewski was right when he said this is the best group of riders the track has seen all season.

How it unfolded

Colby Pearce throws in his teammate Bobby Lea
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

The racing started in earnest after 45 minutes of naming ceremonies as unseasonably cool air and a brisk wind settled over the newly rechristened Valley Preferred Cycling Center. With such a packed men's Keirin field, it was difficult to pick a favourite, but when Ryan Bayley failed to qualify in the morning session, it raised a few eyebrows. He quickly regained momentum though by winning his repecharge heat and earning a spot in the semi-finals.

The semis were stacked; either of the two heats could have been the finals at any World Cup event. The first heat contained three Australian teammates, including Bayley, but it was Chiappa, making a late and very dramatic charge over the top on the last lap, who took the win by a full length and a half.

In the second heat the race was much closer; coming down to a bike-lunge at the line, Barczewski was fastest by half a wheel. Reminded of his earlier comments about making it to the semi-finals, Barczewski said his win must have been "an act of God".

On the women's side, it was Australia's Meares sisters (Rockhampton CC) going one-two in the first Keirin semi-final heat with Anna taking the win. In the second heat, Jenny Reed (Momentum) was followed in by Liz Reap (T-Town Express). The women's Keirin final was taken out in the same fashion as heat one of the semis, with the Meares sisters going one-two and Anna leading the way.

The men's Keirin final, that's a lot
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

"I was pleasantly surprised about the competition," Meares said after winning the final. "I'm definitely happy with it and I'm looking forward to the next three weeks." This is Meares' pre-season racing block, she said, and her first round of racing since winning the World Championships and the first of many steps toward qualifying for the Olympics in Beijing.

In the men's Keirin final, the lineup at the start could have been a direct forecast of the start line at the Olympics. The race stayed strung out until a lap and a half to go, when it all bunched up on the backstretch. As the riders came around for the bell, Bayley launched a furious attack over the top. It took a moment for the melee of riders to sort themselves out and get onto Bayley's wheel, but by then they were coming out of the fourth turn and it was too late. Bayley crossed the line a full bike ahead of his teammate, Jason Niblett.

Andy Lakatosh (T-Town Express) was the highest placing American in fourth. He was very satisfied with his ride, despite having to go through the repecharges like Bayley to qualify for the final. "This morning's qualifying went horrible," he said. "I felt really slow. Looking at the sheets, everything was stacked. It's worse than a world cup in terms of number of people per team. I mean, we've got some of the biggest names in the world here tonight. I was going, if I even make the final tonight I'm going to be thrilled. So I'm like, bring world cup season on."

Anna Meares (Australia) crosses the line
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

Barczewski finished one place behind Lakatosh, in fifth. But he, too, was satisfied with the result. "I did exactly what I wanted to do," he said. "I got on Chiappa's wheel. We hit a little traffic going down the backstraight. Overall, in a stacked field like this, I'm pretty happy with how I rode. It was fast. You've got world champions, Olympic champions in there. I mean, there's no bad guy in that field. Even if I got last, I'd be getting beat by the best in the world."

But Bayley was the man of the hour. "I'm really happy to win," Bayley said. "It was bloody difficult. Even just to get to the semi-finals was hard for me. I went into the final and said, I've got to give it everything I've got, put myself in a good position, just go and don't look back. So I did that, and it worked well."

The men's field also rode a 25 kilometre Madison near the end of the night. With 14 teams, the track was crowded as the riders flashed in front of the new Valley Preferred Cycling Center banner hanging over the old scoreboard. But the action was lively and the laps counted down quickly.

Anna Meares (Australia) was happy
Photo ©: Todd Leister
(Click for larger image)

On the attack for nearly the whole race, the team of Bobby Lea (Toyota-United) and Colby Pearce (CODY) led the way, nearly gaining a lap on the field. But the efforts of Team Canada, comprised of Ryan McKenzie (Canada) and Martin Gilbert (Team Canada), prevented it.

A shattered field rolled across the line by the end, with the team of Lea and Pearce holding off Team Canada by a mere four points to take their first Madison win of the season. "Colby and I have ridden three Madison's together so far this season," Lea said. "We've gotten second every time."

"It's a little more special, getting this first win," Pearce said, adding two of their earlier losses were to Canadian teams, albeit not the same team they beat Friday.

Also taking the track for the Madison was the team of Paul Pearson (Bucks County Racing) and Bruce Donaghy (Morgan Stanly). The two are training for the Masters National Championships at the VPCC at the end of August and the first week of September. "The last time we rode a Madison together was in 1984," Pearson said. They were three laps down on the Lea and Pearce, but the pair didn't finish last or even second to last.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Todd Leister/www.leisterimages.com

Images by Zui Hanafusa/www.keirin.us


Men's flying one mile consolation final
1 Simon Vanvelthooven (NZl) New Zealand                                                  
2 Scott Sunderland (Aus)                                                                 
3 Leandro Bottaso (Arg) Argentina                                                        
4 Tim Veldt (Ned) Schijf                                                                 
5 Gary Ryan (Aus) Verducci                                                               
6 Travis Smith (Can) Momentum Cycling                                                    
7 Daniel Walker (Ned) NWCC                                                               
8 Jonathan Rawlins (Tri) Trinidad/Tobago                                                 
9 Andrew Harris (USA) FCS Cycling                                                        
10 Adam Stewart (NZl) New Zealand                                                        
11 Jason Kenny (GBr)                                                                     
12 Lanell Rockmore (USA) Young Medalists                                                 
13 Chris Stern (USA) Salamander Racing                                                   
DNS Ryan Bayley (Aus)                                                                    
DNS Jonathan Lewis (NZl) New Zealand                                                     
DNS William Lampe (Can) Unattached                                                       
Men's 15 kilometre scratch final

1 Tim Veldt (Ned) Schijf                                                                 
2 Simon Vanvelthooven (NZl) New Zealand                                                  
3 Martin Gilbert (Can) Team Canada                                                       
4 Shane Kline (USA) Salamander Racing                                                    
5 Peter Fitzpatrick (Aus)                                                                
6 Ryan Oelkers (USA) PA Lightning                                                        
7 Gary Ryan (Aus) Verducci                                                               
8 Clay Murfet (Aus) Fuji Salamader                                                       
9 Jackie Simes (USA) PA Lightning                                                        
10 Zach Watson (USA) ABD Cycling                                                         
11 Bobby Lea (USA) Toyota-United                                                         
12 Josh Brown (NZl) New Zealand                                                          
13 Brian Crosby (USA) Univ of Minnesota                                                  
14 Leandro Bottaso (Arg) Argentina                                                       
15 Travis Smith (Can) Momentum Cycling                                                   
16 Barry Miller (USA) Mike Fraysseesports                                                
17 Colby Pearce (USA) CODY                                                               
18 Taylor Brown (USA) PA Lightning                                                       
19 Andy Kulkis (USA) Gotham Cycles                                                       
20 Chris Stern (USA) Salamander Racing                                                   
21 Ryan Mckenzie (Can) Team Canada                                                       
22 Paul Pearson (USA) Bucks County Racing                                                
23 Taylor Fenstermacher (USA) Tri State Velo                                             
24 Bruce Donaghy (USA) Morgan Stanley                                                    
25 Randy Smargiassi (USA) Gotham Cyclists                                                
26 Phil Cable (USA) Upstate Velo                                                         
DNS Daniel Ellis (USA)                                                                   
DNS Richard Miller (USA) Breakaway                                                       
DNS Haseem Maclean (Tri) Trinidad                                                        
DNS Josh Brown (NZl) Unattached                                                          
DNS Mike Beers (USA) Rite-Aid                                                            
DNS Dave Bonser (USA) Gotham/Hensley                                                     
DNS Chris Ruhl (USA) Team Alliance                                                       
DNF Dave Wiswell (USA) NeracPro                                                          
DNF Jonathan Rawlins (Tri) Trinidad/Tobago                                               
DNS Nathan Seddon (NZl) New Zealand                                                      
DNF Rodney Santiago (Pri) CCG                                                            
DNS William Lampe (Can) Unattached                                                       
DNF Michael Chauner (USA) PA Lightning                                                   
DNS Gui Nelesson (USA) Ven Dessel                                                        
DNF Jonathan Lewis (NZl) New Zealand                                                     
DNS Rich Schenck (USA) Salamander                                                        
DNF Neil Campbell (NZl) Team New Zealand                                                 
DNS Jamie Russell (Can) Team Canada                                                      
DNS Anibal Borrajo (Arg)                                                                 
Women 10 kilometre scratch race

1 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway                                            
2 Mindi Martin (USA) Plane Team Revolutio                                                
3 Gina Grain (Can) Team Canada                                                           
4 Liz Reap (USA) T-Town Express                                                          
5 Colleen Hayduk (USA) Fuji Salamander                                                   
6 Laura Yoisten (USA) Webcor Builders                                                    
7 Erica Allar (USA) Team Fuji                                                            
8 Mary Costelloe (USA) ECV                                                               
9 Laura Mccaughey (Aus) Salamander                                                       
10 Colleen Gulick (USA) Fuji Salamander                                                  
11 Julia Bradley (Can) Team RACE                                                         
12 Monique Hanley (Aus) Blackburn Cycling                                                
13 Veronica Martinez (Arg) JVR Sports                                                    
DNF May Britt Hartwell (Nor) YMCC                                                        
DNS Ashley Kimmet (USA) Miya Shoji                                                       
DNF Dana Feiss (USA) Young Medalists                                                     
DNF Joanna Wiersma (Can) PDQ                                                             
DNS Shelbe Eck (USA) Tri State Velo                                                      
DNF Elspeth Huyett (USA) YMCC                                                            
Women's 12 kilometre points race

1 Ashley Kimmet (USA) Miya Shoji                                                       16 pts
2 Laura McCaughey (Aus) Salamander                                                     15
3 Gina Grain (Can) Team Canada                                                         13
4 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci-Breakaway                                          11
5 Colleen Hayduk (USA) Fuji/Salamander                                                  5
6 Monique Hanley (Aus) Blackburn Cycling                                                2
7 Laura Yoisten (USA) Webcore Builders                                                  2
8 Erica Allar (USA) Team Fuji                                                           2
9 Veronica Martinez (Arg) JVR Sports                                                     
DNF Kerrie Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                   
DNF Cari Higgins (USA) Americas DairyLand                                                
DNF May Britt Hartwell (Nor) YMCC                                                        
Men's 25 kilometre Madison

1 Bobby Lea (USA) / Colby Pearce (USA) (Toyota-United / CODY)                          15 pts
2 Ryan McKenzie (Can) / Martin Gilbert (Can) (Team Canada / Team Canada)               11
3 Rich Schenck / Clay Murfet (Salamander / Fuji Salamader)                              8
4 Shane Kline (USA) / Peter Fitzpatrick (Aus) (Salamander Racing)                       5
5 Randy Smargiassi (USA) / Dave Wiswell (USA) (Gotham Cyclists / NeracPro)              4
6 Leandro Bottaso (Arg) / Anibal Borrajo (Arg) (Argentina)                              3
7 Jackie Simes (USA) / Ryan Oelkers (USA) (PA Lightning / PA Lightning)                 1
8 Gui Nelesson (USA) / Phil Cable (USA) (Ven Dessel / Upstate Velo)                      
9 Chris Ruhl (USA) / Rodney Santiago PR (Team Alliance / CCG)                           5
10 Barry Miller (USA) / Brian Crosby (USA) (Mike Fraysseesports / Univ of Minnesota)    2
11 Michael Chauner (USA) / Taylor Brown (USA) (PA Lightning / PA Lightning)              
12 Paul Pearson (USA) / Bruce Donaghy (USA) (Bucks County Racing / Morgan Stanley)      1
DNF Mark Gorman (USA) / Richard Miller (USA) (L'Equipe Deville / Breakaway)              
DNF Andy Kulkis (USA) / Josh Brown (NZl) (Gotham Cycles)                    
Men's Keirin round 1

Heat 1
1 Roberto Chiappa (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Fore                                             
2 Daniel Ellis (USA)                                                                     
3 Leandro Bottaso (Arg) Argentina                                                        
4 Andy Lakatosh (USA) T-Town Express                                                     
5 Jonathan Rawlins (Tri) Trinidad/Tobago                                                 
6 Gary Ryan (Aus) Verducci                                                               

Heat 2
1 Adam Duvendek (USA) Momento Cycling                                                    
2 Joel Leonard (Ned)                                                                     
3 Ryan Bayley (Aus)                                                                      
4 Matt Crampton (GBr)                                                                    
5 Haseem Maclean (Tri) Trinidad                                                          
6 Jonathan Lewis (NZl) New Zealand                                                       

Heat 3
1 Teun Muelder (Ned)                                                                     
2 Mark French (Aus)                                                                      
3 Josiah Ng (Mas) Momentum                                                               
4 Simon Vanvelthooven (NZl) New Zealand                                                  
5 Daniel Walker (USA) NWCC                                                               
6 Andrew Harris (USA) FCS Cycling                                                        

Heat 4
1 Jason Niblett (Aus)                                                                    
2 Kasper Jessen (Den) Oldense                                                            
3 Scott Sunderland (Aus)                                                                 
4 Adam Stewart (NZl) New Zealand                                                         
5 Tim Veldt (Ned) Schijf                                                                 
6 William Lampe (Can)                                                                    
7 Chris Stern (USA) Salamander Racing                                                    

Heat 5
1 Nathan Seddon (NZl) New Zealand                                                        
2 Ben Barczewski (USA) T-Town Express                                                    
3 Josh Brown (NZl)                                                                       
4 Jason Kenny (GBr)                                                                      
5 Travis Smith (Can) Momentum Cycling                                                    
6 Lanell Rockmore (USA) Young Medalists                                                  
Men's Keirin Repecharge

Heat 1
1 Andy Lakatosh (USA) T-Town Express                                                     
2 Haseem Maclean (Tri) Trinidad                                                          
3 Jason Kenny (GBr)                                                                      
4 Daniel Walker (Ned) NWCC                                                               
5 Lanell Rockmore (USA) Young Medalists                                                  
6 Adam Stewart (NZl) New Zealand                                                         
7 Chris Stern (USA) Salamander Racing                                                    

Heat 2
1 Ryan Bayley (Aus)                                                                      
2 Ryan Nelman (USA) T-Town Express                                                       
3 Simon Vanvelthooven (NZl) New Zealand                                                  
4 Jonathan Rawlins (Tri) Trinidad/Tobago                                                 
5 Gary Ryan (Aus) Verducci                                                               
6 Tim Veldt (Ned) Schijf                                                                 
7 William Lampe (Can)                                                                    

Heat 3
1 Matt Crampton (GBr)                                                                    
2 Josiah Ng (Mas) Momentum                                                               
3 Travis Smith (Can) Momentum Cycling                                                    
4 Leandro Bottaso (Arg) Argentina                                                        
5 Jonathan Lewis (NZl) New Zealand                                                       
6 Scott Sunderland (Can)                                                                 
7 Andrew Harris (USA) FCS Cycling                                                        
Men's Keirin semi-finals

Heat 1
1 Roberto Chiappa (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Fore                                             
2 Matt Crampton (GBr)                                                                    
3 Jason Niblett (Aus)                                                                    
4 Ryan Bayley (Aus)                                                                      
5 Mark French (Aus)                                                                      
6 Joel Leonard (Ned)                                                                     
7 Nathan Seddon (NZl) New Zealand                                                        
8 Haseem Maclean (Tri) Trinidad                                                          

Heat 2
1 Ben Barczewski (USA) T-Town Express                                                    
2 Daniel Ellis (USA)                                                                     
3 Andy Lakatosh (USA) T-Town Express                                                     
4 Teun Muelder (Ned)                                                                     
5 Kasper Jessen (Den) Oldense                                                            
6 Josiah Ng (Mas) Momentum                                                               
7 Ryan Nelman (USA) T-Town Express                                                       
8 Adam Duvendek (USA) Momento Cycling                                                    
Men's Keirin Minor Final 9-16

1 Mark French (Aus)                                                                      
2 Kasper Jessen (Den) Oldense                                                            
3 Ryan Nelman (USA) T-Town Express                                                       
4 Haseem Maclean (Tri) Trinidad                                                          
5 Joel Leonard (Ned)                                                                     
6 Adam Duvendek (USA) Momento Cycling                                                    
7 Josiah Ng (Mas) Momentum                                                               
8 Nathan Seddon (NZl) New Zealand                                                        
Men's Keirin Final

1 Ryan Bayley (Aus)                                                                      
2 Jason Niblett (USA)                                                                    
3 Roberto Chiappa (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Fore                                             
4 Andy Lakatosh (USA) T-Town Express                                                     
5 Ben Barczewski (USA) T-Town Express                                                    
6 Matt Crampton (GBr)                                                                    
7 Teun Muelder (Ned)                                                                     
8 Daniel Ellis (USA)                                                                     
Women's Keirin round one

Heat 1
1 Anna Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                       
2 Laura Mccaughey (Aus) Salamander                                                       
3 Mindi Martin (USA) Plane Team Revolutio                                                
4 Shelby Allen (USA)                                                                     

Heat 2
1 Jenny Reed (USA) Momentum                                                              
2 Christin Walker (USA) Northwest Cycling                                                
3 Colleen Hayduk (USA) Fuji Salamander                                                   
4 Cindy Lakatosh (USA) Tri State Velo                                                    
5 Juliet Earle (NZl) Papanui Cycling                                                     

Heat 3
1 Liz Reap (USA) T-Town Express                                                          
2 Jocelyn Rastrick (NZl) Papanui Cycling                                                 
3 Dana Feiss (USA) Young Medalists                                                       
4 Joanna Wiersma (Can) PDQ                                                               
5 May Britt Hartwell (Nor) YMCC                                                          

Heat 4
1 Kerrie Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                     
2 Erica Allar (USA) Team Fuji                                                            
3 Veronica Martinez (Arg) JVR Sports                                                     
4 Shelby Allen (USA)                                                                     
5 Monique Hanley (Aus) Blackburn Cycling                                                 
Women's Keirin repecharge

Heat 1
1 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway                                            
2 Mindi Martin (USA) Plane Team Revolutio                                                
3 Veronica Martinez (Arg) JVR Sports                                                     
4 Shelby Allen (USA)                                                                     
5 May Britt Hartwell (Nor) YMCC                                                          

Heat 2
1 Cindy Lakatosh (USA) Tri State Velo                                                    
2 Colleen Hayduk (USA) Fuji Salamander                                                   
3 Dana Feiss (USA) Young Medalists                                                       
4 Juliet Earle (NZl) Papanui Cycling                                                     
5 Joanna Wiersma (Can) PDQ                                                               
6 Monique Hanley (Aus) Blackburn Cycling                                                 
Women's Keirin semi-final

Heat 1
1 Anna Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                       
2 Kerrie Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                     
3 Cindy Lakatosh (USA) Tri State Velo                                                    
4 Erica Allar (USA) Team Fuji                                                            
5 Mindi Martin (USA) Plane Team Revolutio                                                
6 Laura Mccaughey (Aus) Salamander                                                       

Heat 2
1 Jenny Reed (USA) Momentum                                                              
2 Liz Reap (USA) T-Town Express                                                          
3 Jocelyn Rastrick (NZl) Papanui Cycling                                                 
4 Christin Walker (USA) Northwest Cycling                                                
5 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway                                            
6 Colleen Hayduk (USA) Fuji Salamander                                                   
Women's Keirin minor final 7-12

1 Laura Mccaughey (Aus) Salamander                                                       
2 Christin Walker (USA) Northwest Cycling                                                
3 Colleen Hayduk (USA) Fuji Salamander                                                   
4 Mindi Martin (USA) Plane Team Revolutio                                                
5 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway                                            
6 Erica Allar (USA) Team Fuji                                                            
Women's Keirin final

1 Anna Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                       
2 Kerrie Meares (Aus) Rockhampton CC                                                     
3 Jenny Reed (USA) Momentum                                                              
4 Liz Reap (USA) T-Town Express                                                          
5 Cindy Lakatosh (USA) Tri State Velo                                                    
6 Jocelyn Rastrick (NZl) Papanui Cycling