Lea and Workowski Capture Madison Cup
37 years of racing and T-Town has never seen a season finale like this! The World Series of Bicycling drew to a close this Friday with Madison Cup, presented by Salamander and Corporate Challenge. Spectators were treated to much more than just world-class Madison racing, they had a night of variety featuring Keirin Revenge, professional women’s racing, TEVA Respiratory’s PeeWee Pedalers, and Corporate Challenge.
Madison Cup is always a fan favorite. The close proximity of the riders combined with the hand slings for the teams to alternate which rider is on relief and which one is racing create some close calls that keep fans on the edge of their seats. The format for this year’s edition consisted of more than just Madison races. The teams also competed individually in a scratch and elimination to gain points towards the overall standings.
Lea got the racing off to a rolling start as he crushed his competition in the three kilometer scratch. He continued to dominate when he and his partner Eric Workowski teamed up for the first Madison of the evening. They snatched up the win by a narrow margin over the team of Zak Kovalcik and Barry Miller.
In the elimination it was Lea, Kline, and Kovalcik who made it through to the sprint. In the final lap, Lea easily took the win over Kovalcik and Shane Kline. In the final 100 lap Madison, Lea and Workowski continued to be unstoppable racking up an unprecedented 51 points over Kline and Kyle Wamsley’s 40.
Lea and Workowski will put their names on the Madison Cup as the 2012 Champions. Wamsley and Kline came in second followed Team Type 1’s Alexey Shmidt and Dan Holt in third
The women’s racing started with the Elimination. The field came down to three T-Town greats; Becky Quinn, Kim Geist, and 2011 Rider of the Year Mary Costello. Geist, an excellent pursuiter, found her inner sprinter and kicked into full speed to take the win over Costello and Quinn.
The women kept a fast pace in the Tempo with a majority of the field collecting points. Geist took her second win of the evening over Quinn and Colleen Hayduk.
Poland’s Paulina Cywinska took broke away early on, and it seemed like she was going to hang on for the win. With one to go, Cywinska began to fade and Marquardt saw her opportunity and put on a hard charge to take the win over Hayduk and Costello.
The Rider of the Year contest came down to tonight’s racing. With only three points separating teammates Andy Lakatosh and Matt Baranoski, the racing was bound to be ferocious. Since the two were both sprinters, Keirin Revenge was going to decide who would come out on top. Lakatosh took the win in the first round by a large margin and seemed on track to win the overall.
The second keirin closely resembled the first with Andy Lakatosh choosing to ride from the front, while Baranoski placed himself one rider from last. As Baranoski was attempting to pass John Chambers, Lakatosh was also trying to pass. As Lakatosh moved down track Baranoski moved up and they bumped into each other, knocking Baranoski to the ground. When asked about the incident, Lakatosh insisted it was a mistake, “It’s racing and things happen. Everyone is a competitor when I’m out there. I was just so focused on winning Rider of the Year.”
Baranoski was forced to sit out the final ride, essentially guaranteeing Lakatosh the victory in the Rider of the Year competition. “I’ve been racing here for 15 years, and I’m so proud to finally add my name to the list of great riders who have been Rider of the Year in T-Town,” Lakatosh said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without Gil Hatton, my friends and family, the velodrome staff, and Pure Energy. They have all seen me through a turbulent year, and it feels great to come out on top.”
Valley Preferred represented their company well by taking fifth, fourt, and first place positions on the podium. Red Robin’s team of Bicycle Racing League All-Stars gave it their all, but came up two seconds short and had to settle for silver.
Hall of Fame
A hallmark of the end of the season is the induction of the track legends into the Hall of Fame. This year’s class saw former track director and Olympic Silver medalist Pat McDonough inducted. “It’s a real honor to be inducted,” McDonough said. “Thousands of people have raced here and less than 30 of them have made it into the Hall of Fame. It really is a huge honor.”
Although McDonough no longer lives in the Lehigh Valley, T-Town still holds a place in his heart. “It’s a fun place to work, it’s exciting and different and it’s such a huge part of the community,” he said. “Where else are the cheapest tickets right next to the athletes? Tonight was great, and I hope it’s a spring board for things to come.”
Racing may be over, but don’t forget about us! On October 6, VeloFest is coming back. The track will be packed with vendors with all your wants and needs, so mark your calendars!
Article by: Elspeth Huyett
Photo by Rick Menapace
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