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World Series of Bicycling kicks off with UCI US Sprint Gran Prix

Recap posted on thevelodrome.com on June 6, 2015.

The World Series of Bicycling began for 2015 Friday night at Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown with the UCI US Sprint Gran Prix event. The night meant even more to VPCC and the T-town faithful as it was the 40th anniversary celebration of the velodrome.

The night began with opening ceremonies, including remarks from VPCC Executive Director Marty Nothstein and a member of the Rodale family. Additionally, a representative of state representative Gary Day gave a proclamation.

Before the gates even opened to the public or the first race of the night was ran, the track was already heated up as one track record fell in the morning time trials. Kate O’Brien of Canada, who is just in her second year of cycling after bobsledding most of her life, set the new 200m record with a time of 11.487. Her mark bested the previous record of 11.569 set by Connie Young of Indianapolis, Indiana back in 1996.

After a sprint quarterfinal and semifinal were completed the 15km scratch race for men was held. Patrick Jones of New Zealand was the first to cross the line in that one with country-mate Jeremy Presbury taking second.

In the women’s 10km scratch final, Kim Geist, took first place. Geist was VPCC’s GU Rider of the Night, so all fans in attendance received free GU product as they exited.

The sprints were the focal point of the evening though with most of the action leading up to the final sprints. Matt Archibald of New Zealand won the sprint, Tjon En Fa Jair of Surnam finished second with Matt Baranowski of the United States taking third.

For the women, Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands snatched first place. O’Brien of Canada finished second with her teammate, Monique Sullivan taking third.

All told, 11 different countries, ranging from Canada to New Zealand were present in T-town Friday night.

Tonight’s action was broadcast by Service Electric on tape delay. Airings of the action can be seen 4 p.m. on Saturday or at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The World Series of Bicycling action continues next Friday with another UCI night, with the Fastest Man on Wheels night, which will feature plenty of Keirin racing. Most of the riders from Friday night’s action will return for next week as well.

It is a Wing Fling in the plaza on June 12 as well with a wing eating contest. Additionally, 99.9 The Hawk will be broadcasting live from the plaza.

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