The Pennsylvania Lightning out-dueled the Mexico heat over the weekend to take the inaugural race of the fledgling World Cycling League, a new track racing venture founded by former Philadelphia International Cycling Classic organiser Dave Chauner.
42 elite track cyclists from 12 countries competed in a six-team, three-session format that started Friday evening, continued Saturday afternoon and concluded with a final session Saturday evening.
In each session, the teams of four men and three women earned points in a 12-race format, which included no time trials or match sprints.
Olympic medalists from the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Nelson Vails and Steve Hegg, along with Connie Paraskevin, the four-time world sprint champion, four-time US road race national champion Fred Rodriguez, 2000 Olympian Tony Cruz from nearby Long Beach and bike speed record holder John Howard all attended as celebrity representatives for each team.
“This really is the future of cycling,” said Rodriguez, ambassador for the Pennsylvania Lightning. “It’s entertainment for a new generation with a shorter attention span. Nothing like this has been presented in the US before. And, the racing was real hard and aggressive. It was a very cool event. Plus, my team won.”
Shimano executive Wayne Stetina, came up from Orange County added, said he really didn’t know what to expect.
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