The 2012 UCI World Track Cycling Championships didn't bring the best of results for local cyclists, but served as a renewal of effort toward the 2012 London Olympics.
Lauren Tamayo, formerly Lauren Franges, of Barto, teamed with two other U.S. women to place fifth overall in the women's team pursuit, one place out of the medals round.
Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) rode with Dotsie Bausch and former world champion Sarah Hammer to record a 3:21.765, a full two seconds over the national record they set in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in 2010. The trio won a silver medal at the 2011 world championships.
Topton's Bobby Lea (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, placed 17th in the omnium and 20th in the scratch race at the world championships held in Melbourne, Australia, last weekend.
"Performance-wise, the way worlds went was relatively disappointing," Lea said after arriving back from Australia on Easter Sunday, "but I knew going into it I wasn't in my best form because of the way the winter unfolded."
Lea was coming off a third-place finish in the omnium at the Pan American Championships three weeks earlier after a very hard training cycle heading into the Beijing World Cup in mid-January. He had excellent results there, as well, and decided to take recovery time rather than cramming training in for the 2012 worlds after a winter in which he battled illness and injury.
"The Olympic qualifying for this cycle was a two-year, 12-race process listing the four World Cups, the continental championships [Pan Ams] and the world championships from the last two years," Lea explained.
While theU.S. Olympic Teamin track cycling won't be announced until mid-June, Lea felt confident in his results over the previous 11 races and decided to give a hard effort at worlds while using the time between Pan Ams and worlds for recovery rather than hard training.
"There are plenty of ways I can improve across the board, a lot of room for improvement," he said. "I started looking at London right after the continental championships. I felt good about the situation going into worlds, and the process right now is to restart from Square 1. I'll look at the races from over the winter, what I did well and what I did not so well and the major areas I need for improvement."
Lehigh Parkway problems: By now, most people have heard about the temporary closure of part of the running trail below the collapsing stonework wall on Park Drive, from the Robin Hood Bridge to the water pump area. Traffic has been closed at the 15th Street entrance to one-way entering the parkway, with exiting traffic detoured to Lehigh Parkway South.
St. Luke's volunteers still needed: Volunteers are needed to help deliver fliers in the neighborhoods along the St. Luke's Half Marathon and five-kilometer courses. The flier distribution is Saturday, April 21. Volunteers should meet at 1 p.m. across the east gate of J. Birney Crum Stadium on West Linden Street in Allentown. To register as a volunteer or for information, contact Carmen Oliver at email@example.com.
Volunteers also are needed for the St. Luke's Youth run on Saturday, April 28. Registration is 12:30-3 p.m., with the races running 3-4:30 p.m. Volunteers should contact Loretta Dodson at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Hersheypark Happy: Hershey will be hosting its second annual Tour de Chocolate Town Bike Tour on Sunday, June 3, and its third Hershey Half Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The bike tour, which begins with a rolling start 7-8:30 a.m. from Hersheypark Stadium, features four different routes based on ability levels: a 17.5-mile beginner course, a 35-mile intermediate course and a 65-mile or 100-mile century ride for advanced riders.
The entry fee is $40 and includes a T-shirt, rest stops, commemorative pin and post-tour refreshments. Proceeds go to the Children's Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. To register or for info, including course maps, visit http://www.tourdechocolatetown.com.
Registration for the third annual Hershey Half Marathon opens May 1 on http://www.active.com. Course highlights include running through Hersheypark and along Chocolate Avenue and its famous Hershey Kiss-shaped street lights; a "chocolate" aid station; and a festive finish line in Hersheypark Stadium, whereHershey's product characters will cheer for participants.
Race participants will receive a race T-shirt and personalized bib. Finishers will receive a medal. The registration fee also includes two tickets to Hersheypark in the Dark. Registration is $75 per person and rises after Aug. 1.
For info, go to http://www.hersheyhalfmarathon.com.
Snow days: Skiing may have concluded, but several race results came in recently. Palmerton senior Kylee Turko, 18, skiing for Blue Mountain Ski Area, won the Governor's Cup, repeating a feat she accomplished in 2010.
Ian Greeland, a 16-year-old from Coopersburg, finished second overall in the J2 group in the Pennsylvania Race Cup series for alpine ski racing. Ryan Baker, 18, from Laurys Station, finished sixth overall in the J1 bracket. Both of them also compete for the Blue Mountain Ski Area Race Team.