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Forest City Aerodrome Grand Opening

May 2, 2005 “” What a night. A Scottish Bag Piper escorted local dignitaries into the Velodrome and two London-area singers thrilled the crowd as they sang the national anthem. The ceremonial ribbon cutting was handled by Bud Polhill from the City of London, Aaron Hershoff from the Canadian Cycling Association and Ontario Cycling Association President Jim Crosscomb, who also committed $5,000 this year and matching that amount for the 2006 season. This money will be used for rider development with regular training camps for high performance athletes in the province.

Once again the seats were filled at the Velodrome with both old and new cycling fans waiting to see if the lap record would fall. As expected Toronto sprinter Brooks Rapley shattered the lap record in a time of 8.90 seconds.

Lots of action took place in the women’s events with Julia Bradley winning two of three races and Mao Pryer coming home for the win in the 10-lap sprint race.

Fourteen-year-old sensation Matt Robertson from the Waterloo Flying Dogs got the crowd on their feet cheering as he made a bold move over the top of the pack in the 25-lap scratch race. He stayed in the lead for eight laps with all the encouragement the race fans could muster. Robertson was caught with one lap to go by teammate Richard Bell who was severely reprimanded for taking his hands off the bars as he crossed the line. In other action, Lawrence Laroux from Montreal and Todd Scheske from Rochester, NY put their names in the record books by winning their races.

Local track racer Chris Hauk had three tremendous races. Hauk attacked late in the scratch race to win by three bike lengths. In his other events, he came a little short for the win but second and third were his best results of the season.

In the featured Madison event for the Nas-Track Madison League, a total of teams took to the track “” two teams from the Detroit area and three from Ontario.

The event started off under control since three of the riders were starting their first Madison. Early in the event, 19-year-old Adam Thus had a spill during an exchange and destroyed his bike and could not continue. That left veteran Madison competitor Taylor Martin to continue on his own. Ultimately this was to his advantage as he was going in and out with the Red Team and went on to lap the field three times during the event. In the final sprint, Martin took control of the race and hammered for victory in the second Madison of the season.

Team Red with 18-year-old Eric Robertson took double pulls all night to eventually end up in second. Other local riders Piers Davidge and Nic Laughton were third after dominating the Miss and Out. The Toledo and Detroit team of Dave Theil and Jim Houston outsprinted local London rider John Craig Jr. and his partner Terry Palmer for fourth position in the final.

Racing continues this Saturday night with a full slate of racing action. Rumour has it that several of the women have challenged the men to include them in the Madison. This should be very interesting for the local cycling fans who plan to catch the action.

For more information check out the Forest City Velodrome website at www.ForestCityVelodrome.ca.

The winner of the Logo design contest was Image #1 submitted by Joe McNamara from St. Andrews West in Eastern Ontario. We thank every one who submitted a design and the over 700 individuals that voted for all eight logo finalists.

On Wednesday night, Velodrome members will be practicing and training in preparation for Saturday night’s event. If you are planning to race in the Madison you should come out to get some instruction and practice.

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