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Nicole Reinhart Women's Classic - NE
Lehigh velodrome, Trexlertown, USA, June 6, 2003
Spirit of Nicole Lives On at Lehigh Valley
By Kristy Scrymgeour in Trexlertown
The spirit of Nicole was buzzing at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, Pennsylvania where crowds of people returned for the third consecutive year to remember the late Nicole Reinhart, a beautiful person and great athlete who tragically lost her life in a racing accident on September 17, 2000. Nicole's parents Mike and Pam were present with a smile as always, welcoming people to the event and sharing fond memories of Nicole and her racing career. Nicole's brother Tim raced with his usual finesse and as his father said, "he has that special inspiration from above when he races, especially tonight".
The energetic mood of the event was immediately evident as one walked in the gates of the velodrome to hear the groovy tunes of the Roamin Gabriels jazz band and watch the Saturn Women's team race each other on the Cyberbike. Local riders had the option of turning up early to do a training ride with Petra Rossner (Nurnberger) who raced with Nicole in 2000 with Saturn and is in the US to defend her title at the Liberty Classic on Sunday.
Photographs of Nicole in action around the velodrome sparked conversations of her successful career as a cyclist who was developing to be one of America's finest. This year for the first time, the night of track racing consisted of the Nicole Reinhart Women's Classic which was listed on the National Racing Calendar for the first time.
The event attracted a strong field of women such as Joanne Kiesanowski and Tanya Duff Miller (Diet Rite), Sarah Uhl (Saturn) and Ashley Kimmet (Colavita Bolla) as well as former Olympic and World Champion Lucy Tyler. It was local hero and Junior World Champion Sarah Uhl who stole the show in the women's events although riders such as Tanya Duff Miller and Becky Conzelman gave her a run for her money.
Uhl won all three of the women's events including the Women's Keirin, the Points Race and the Women's three mile. Uhl, now riding for the Saturn team was "happy to be racing here on this special night" and was excited to have the rest of her new team at the event to watch her race and cheer her on from the deck where they dined with Nicole's friends and family.
The men's field featured riders from Prime Alliance, Colavita Bolla, Shroeder Iron, Jittery Joe's, Team Fuji and others. Jame Carney from Prime Alliance came out with plenty of speed to win two of the three men's events. In crowd pleasing style, Carney won both the Points Race and the Keirin leaving only the Elimination race up for grabs.
It was Australian rider Jeff Hopkins from Jittery Joe's who lasted the distance in the elimination, winning the event in front of the home crowd. Hopkins spends a lot of time living and training in the area around the Lehigh Valley Velodrome and is considered a local within the cycling world.
The focal point of the evening was the speech by Mike and Pam Reinhart as they awarded the annual scholarship holders and the Spirit of Nicole awards to local riders who never give up and ride with character. Mike was also very pleased to announce the scholarships that the Nicole Reinhart Foundation offers to athletes from the local schools and to the Saturn Development team. Nicole lives on in the dreams of other young athletes.
Many of the riders will now head straight down to take on the steep streets of Philadelphia in the USPRO championships and the Wachovia Women's Liberty Classic. According to Mike Reinhart, the weather will be fine as it has been for the past 19 years at this event.
[For more information on Nicole Reinhart, please see the Nicole Reinhart tribute page].
Images by Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews
Images by Zui Hanafusa/www.miyashojicycling.org
Women Keirin 1 Sarah Uhl (Saturn) 2 Ashley Kimmet (Colavita-Bolla) 3 Jo Kiesanowski (Diet Rite) Points race (36 laps) 1 Sarah Uhl (Saturn) 2 Becky Conzelman (Frisco) 3 Ashley Kimmet (Colavita-Bolla) 3-mile race 1 Sarah Uhl (Saturn) 2 Jo Kiesanowski (Diet Rite) 3 Graciela Martinez (Victory Brewing) Men Points race (36 laps) 1 Jame Carney (Prime Alliance) 2 Kyle Wamsley (Team Fuji) 3 Joseph Antoni (Greensboro Velo Club) Keirin 1 Jame Carney (Prime Alliance) 2 Andy Lakatosh (Tri-State Velo) 3 Gilbert Hatton (Gotham Cyclists) Miss-and-out 1 Jeff Hopkins (Jittery Joe's) 2 Mike Tillman (Schroeder Iron) 3 Jame Carney (Prime Alliance)