January 17, 2006 – (Northbrook, Illinois) – For the first time in its history, the Ed Rudolph Northbrook Velodrome will be unveiling a new event exclusively for women competitors. This summer the Elaine Nekritz Trophy race will be held and it is the hope of the velodrome to increase women participation in track cycling.
A 30-lap points race will be contested by category 1/2/3 and a 15-lap by category 4 women racers. This race format will provide beginner women (category 4) the opportunity to compete against women of equal abilities while allowing them the honor to be recognized for their efforts. The name of winners of both groups will be engraved on the trophy and become part of this historic moment.
The race will be sponsored by Alberto’s Sport of Highland Park, Illinois. Alberto’s Sport is a not-for-profit organization with a long history of supporting women. Founded in 1988 by Elaine Nekritz, the goal of Alberto’s Sport is to provide a club for cycling enthusiasts and to support those interested in racing. Currently, there are 130 members, including seven women of which more than 30 members partake in cycling competitions on a regular basis. The club receives strong support from Alberto’s Cycles.
In 2003, the club began a campaign with the specific goal of increasing the participation of women in the sport. As a part of that effort, the club offers both free and fee based clinics, group rides for various ability levels and a women’s -specific racing team. Alberto’s seek to encourage women of all ages and abilities to participate in cycling events as a means to an active and healthy lifestyle. By emphasizing cycling education and skills training, the club seeks to empower women.
As the women’s program has gained momentum, equally has the list of accomplishments.
– Organized five women’s clinics since 2003, all of which have been enthusiastically received with statements such as “When’s the next one!?”
– Publish a weekly women’s e-newsletter to provide information about the weekly rides, highlight accomplishments of local women and to promote upcoming events. The list has grown to include 200 women from 40 initial e-mail subscribers.
– Each week the club hosts a women’s ride which has grown from two or three riders in the early days to an average of ten and as many as twenty riders in 2005.
– Alberto’s racing accomplishments include 14 district titles since 1996, highlighted by the participation of Elaine Nekritz in the 1988 Olympic trials.
For further information about this event please visit www.northbrookvelodrome.org website.
About Alberto’s Cycles: A full service shop providing expertise in both running and cycling disciplines. The shop is located in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago. Alberto’s has been present in the community for over 30 years. In 1999 the shop partnered with Running Right to bring footwear and apparel expertise to its product offering. The cycling store is a large contributor to the Alberto’s Sport Cycling Team. (www.albertocycles.com).
About the Ed Rudolph Northbrook Velodrome: The newly resurfaced velodrome is one of only 14 quarter mile cycling tracks in the United States. The velodrome is part of the Northbrook Park District system located north of the City of Chicago in suburban Northbrook. Several fundraising efforts helped save the facility in 2004. The velodrome attracts top cyclist from multiple states. (www.northbrookvelodrome.org and www.nbparks.org)
About Elaine Nekritz: State Representative Elaine Nekritz is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 57th District. This district encompasses all or portions of several of Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs: Des Plaines, Glenview, Northbrook, Mt. Prospect, Niles and Prospect Heights. An avid cyclist, founder of Alberto’s Sport and a Board Member of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. (www.repnekritz.org)