Island 200, an indoor bicycle track under construction on Neville Island, will become home next year to pro racing teams from the newly formed World Cycling League.
Speedtrak Cycling competitions, a proprietary bike-racing format featuring squads of 11 men and women riders, will begin in October 2015, Robert Gottlieb, developer of Island 200, announced Wednesday.
The World Cycling League will begin with a four-team conference. Teams will compete in a two-part season featuring a dozen three-day meets.
The first half will feature competition among the four “USA East” domestic teams; the second half will have USA all-stars taking on teams of international competitors. Each day’s competition will feature 12 races and last a total of 21⁄2 hours. The indoor racing season will run between October and March.
The completion of the velodrome this summer should give the new league more than a year to prepare for the start of racing, said John Nelson, the league’s CEO. Initial events at the velodrome will include amateur racing in late summer.
The 11 pro riders on each of the initial teams will be drafted from a pool of candidates in the first quarter of next year. Island 200 will be the site for a three-day pilot meet in March 2015.
“That pilot event will let us work the kinks out and make sure all systems are in place for our full season in fall 2015,” Nelson said.
League commissioner John Vande Velde and CEO David Chauner both are former U.S. Olympic Team cyclists and U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame members. Gottlieb, the velodrome’s developer, will be the league’s president. He had a 30-year career as a bicycle racer.
Southwestern Pennsylvania long has been home to competitive cyclists, but the region has lacked an indoor facility for winter training, Gottlieb said.
“The velodrome will be a tool for athletes to train and sharpen their skills,” he said. “We will produce world champions.”
Len Barcousky: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-724-772-0184.
Len Barcousky: email@example.com or 724-772-0184. First Published March 12, 2014 3:01 PM