CARSON, Calif. — The best Paralympic cyclists in the United States will head to Los Angeles, Nov. 22-24, for the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling National Championships. The competition will be held at the VELO Sports Center in conjunction with the International Cycling Union's class 1 event, which will help able-bodied cyclists from Canada, France, Mexico, the U.S. and other countries earn points for upcoming UCI World Cup events.
Tickets for the LA Grand Prix go on-sale on Oct. 7 through stubhubcenter.com. Tickets for groups of ten or more may be purchased by calling 1-877-234-8425.
“I am ecstatic to bring the world’s best cyclists back to the VELO Sports Center,” said two-time Olympic cyclist Adam Duvendeck VELO Sports Center manager. “I remember how large the crowds were when I competed here as an athlete representing the U.S. in the UCI World Cups a few years back, and I can't wait to see that energy from a packed arena return to the VELO Sports Center two months from now.”
Among the racers returning to California for the LA Grand Prix is Sarah Hammer, a six-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist.
“It’s exciting for the city of Los Angeles and also our country to have a world class UCI event back in the United States,” says USA Cycling Track Endurance Director Ben Sharp. “To come to our premiere venue in Carson, and be able to show off our nation’s talent to the rest of the world is a great opportunity.”
In addition to the international competition, an exciting part of the LA Grand Prix will be the inclusion of the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling National Championships, and the conclusion of USA Cycling National Track Calendar series.
“I think it’s exciting that we’re able to host nationals here for our paracyclists at an integrated event,” said Ian Lawless, the United States Olympic Committee's Paralympic cycling high performance director. “We have athletes with and without disabilities competing at the same event, at the same venue, in front of the same fans. We think that’s a great way to showcase the abilities of our athletes. It is a world-class track. It’s great for us to select future national teams from the results of this event, and crown national champions at the same time. So it should be pretty exciting.”
Notable Paralympic cyclists who are expected to compete: Greta Neimanas, who won a world title at the same venue in a scratch race in 2012; Allison Jones, who won gold and bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games; Jennifer Schuble who won silver and bronze in London and silver at the 2012 track worlds; Joe Benenyi, who also won gold in London; and tandem cyclists Clark Rachfal and pilot Dave Swanson, among many others.
“The L.A. velodrome is the best in the United States, so I am very excited for nationals” said Jennifer Schuble. “My goal is to bring back a couple stars-and-stripes jerseys and to hit the national team standards. Not only will I be entering the Paralympic events, but also the UCI races, so I will be doing double duty.”