Valley Preferred Cycling Center, America’s most celebrated velodrome, kicks off the start of its 35th anniversary season with the world’s fastest bicycle racers on Friday, June 18 at 5:30pm.  Opening night includes events such as the Festival of Speed, the U.S. 10 mile championship, pre-race live entertainment, and new organic concessions.

Opening night also marks the beginning of  the World Series of Bicycling, 10 Friday nights of international, Olympic-caliber racing that will feature the best American racers going head-to-head and shoulder-to-shoulder with riders from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and many other nations.

This year fans can come early to enjoy the 2010 Happy Hour featuring the Mayfair Music Series presented by the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix and live music performed by top local entertainers from 5:30 to 7 pm.  Sebastian Rivera will perform on Opening Night and the BC Combo is already booked for June 25. Happy Hour festivities also include drink specials from Michelob Ultra and other popular beers, the tasty all-organic concessions at the new Breakaway Café and a plaza full of fun activities for children and adults.

This anniversary is a true milestone in cycling history, said Executive Director and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Marty Nothstein.

“We’ve been around for 35 years. There aren’t many bike tracks that can say that, even in the Golden Age of the early 20th Century when track cycling was the Nascar of its day,” Nothstein said. “We offer more racing, more programs, more community activities than any other track in the United States – and maybe the world. And we are very, very proud of that distinction.”

The Valley Preferred Cycling Center has hosted several U.S. Nationals and Masters National Championships, the 1995 U.S. Olympic Trials, a 1999 World Cup and the Junior World Championships in 1978 and 2001.  It’s community training programs have introduced more than 22,000 people to track cycling and produced more than 140 national champions, seven world champions, three Olympic medalist – including Nothstein’s 2000 gold earned in Syndey, Australia and 1996 silver medal in Atlanta, and the Olympic record in the match sprint set by Nothstein in Sydney.

Buy your tickets now and join The Lehigh Valley at the Velodrome this Friday for a night of excitement, entertainment, and the chance to be a part of history!  Visit VPCC on Facebook for updates and additional information, or print your season schedule.  If you have been to the velodrome for an event, please feel free to post your story below!