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T-town's best spin for the CRCA

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Christian Vande Velde

Christian Vande Velde (Image credit: Eugene Boronow)
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The crowd

The crowd (Image credit: Eugene Boronow)

Lehigh Valley Velodrome/Valley Preferred Cycling Center CEO Erin Hartwell and some of 'T-town's' fastest legs descended upon a midtown Manhattan roller racing party to help raise funds for the CRCA's junior program. Hosted by, the event attracted the likes of Christian Vande Velde, who brought a jersey to auction off, and Andy Lakatosh and Ben Barczewski who went head to head with New York locals to raise money for the city's oldest cycling clubs.

T-town's Matt Diefenbach set the record for fastest qualifying time, completing 500 meteres in under 16 seconds. The top sixteen times advanced to elimination rounds, and the event organizers entertained the crowd with a 1km/1 beer challenge won by Dave Perry of Bike Works over nyvelocity's Andy Shen and Dan Schmalz.

Serious racing resumed, and after two rounds of 1k elimination races, the semifinals were set. Not surprisingly, the four spots were claimed by T-Town's Diefenbach, Andy Lakatosh, Ben Barczewski, and Kasper Jessen, with Barczewski and Jessen advancing to the finals. The two women racers took on the men, then squared off for the women's title, taken by Melissa O'Reilly over Tara Parsons.

Jessen and Barczewski settled in for the final after a pugilistic entrance. The final was a nip and tuck affair, with Jessen just nipping Barczewski for the win. Jessen then showed off his guns in his sleeveless Toto jersey and drenched the crowd with Pacifico.