T-Town Under Corporate Takeover
This World Series of Bicycling once again brings a unique event back to the Lehigh Valley with Corporate Challenge. This year’s edition will see Valley Preferred, PPL EnergyPlus, Bicycling, Rodale Inc., Buckeye, VSAS, LCCC, the Velodrome, and Red Robin go head to head to see who has the quickest employees in the Valley. Marty Nothstein, executive director, recognizes the popularity of the event to the businesses involved, “It’s a great opportunity for local corporations to get their names out in front of a large audience and have a great time racing under the Friday night lights, and it doesn’t get better than that.”
In this fan-favorite event local corporations assemble a team comprised of six employees and compete in an Italian Pursuit tournament. One team will start on the wall in each straight away and form a pace line to draft behind each other. Each lap the first rider swings off and lets the following rider lead the team for a lap until only one rider remains to bring home the gold. The teams are not only trying to take the win over the other team on the track, but also record a fast time so they can seed themselves well moving forward.
Corporate Challenge is always one of the loudest nights at the Valley preferred Cycling Center, “Fans are cheering for corporations that they know and the people that are racing are people just like them,” Nothstein explains.
Along with the opportunity to bring home the title of Corporate Challenge Champions, teams also get to work on team building and communication. Joy Clymer from PPL EnergyPlus has enjoyed her experience so far, “It’s fun to get out there and represent your company and come together with your coworkers outside of the office and build camaraderie, friendship, and work towards a common goal.” Clymer said.
Aside from the intense competition of Corporate Challenge, the professional riders will also be hitting the track. The battle for the Rider of the Year competition is heating up with only three nights remaining on the calendar. On the men’s side team mates Andy Lakatosh and Matt Baranoski maintained first and second position after Fastest Man on Wheels and they will be hoping to increase their lead on the rest of the competition. On the women’s side Colleen Gulick has found herself with a sizeable lead with second placed Dana Walton out with a broken collarbone for the season and third placed Elizabeth Steele back in New Zealand. However, Mandy Marquardt is still within challenging distance at fourth place.
The plaza will be rocking this Friday. Swoop, the Philadelphia Eagles’ mascot, will be in attendance to meet fans and take a spin around the track. During the intermissions, there will be a Zumba demonstration and Bob Swaim will be taking his dicycle, a two wheeled bicycle with seven-foot wheels on either side of the rider, on a spin around the track to set the Age Quotient.
Fans will also have the opportunity to win 2013 season tickets in a retro jersey contest. The requirement is to be wearing a retro jersey and register at the merchandise stand prior to the start of racing. During intermission Marty Nothstein, along with some of the professional riders, will select the best retro jersey and award them with the grand prize of 2013 season tickets and the top three entrants will receive a T-town swag bag.
As always, racing starts at 7:30 and gates open at 5:30. Tickets are as low as $5 and children 12 and under free.