Air Products Developmental Program Celebrates 35th Anniversary
This Friday’s World Series of Bicycling is a defining night for T-town. It is the finale of the 35th Air Products Developmental Program, the Valley Preferred Cycling Center’s flagship community program. Participants of this program honed their track racing skills throughout the summer for a chance to be crowned Air Products Champion on August 24.
Other than the world class racing that takes place at T-town, it is the vast success of the community programs that sets it apart from other track cycling facilities in the country. The Air Products Developmental Program is responsible for creating nine Olympians and bringing home three medals. Two of these medals belong to Marty Nothstein and the third was collected only weeks ago by Lauren Tamayo in the Team Pursuit.
“For more than 35 years the Air Products Program has been producing National Champions, Olympians, and World Champions,” Nothstein says. “It is an invaluable asset to our track, as well as the sport of cycling.” The program affords children ages 5-18 the opportunity to be provided with a track bike, helmet, and a USA Cycling certified coach to introduce them the velodrome. Adult classes exist as well for the low price of $60.
Air Products Developmental Cycling Program graduates Andy Lakatosh and Colleen Gulick will be competing to hold on to their leads in the Rider of the Year competition for two more races. Gulick has a comfortable lead over her competition, but the men’s race is much tighter with only eight points separating Lakatosh from teammate Matt Baranoski.
Zak Kovalcik will be returning to the Lehigh Valley for the last two weeks of racing. The newly crowned National Omnium Champion was a fan favorite earlier in the season with his bleach blond hair and aggressive racing style and will surely make his mark this time around.
The rain out last week put a damper on the much talked about Retro Jersey Contest. Fans will have another opportunity this week to bring out their best old school cycling jersey for a chance to win season tickets.
Gates open at 5:30 and racing starts at 7:30. Tickets start at just $5 and children 12 and under are free. Air Products employees can receive free Finish Line seats for themselves and a guest when they show their Air Products identification card at the box office.
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