2012 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships presented by Samsung set to kick-off in Los Angeles

Feb 6, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -Beginning February 9th, the world's best Paralympic cyclists will battle it out on the track during the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships presented by Samsung at the Velo Sports Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The competition, which is also sponsored by The Hartford, runs through February 12th.

The competition will feature more than 200 athletes from 33 countries. Besides having an opportunity to earn world champion status in their events, athletes will also be competing for UCI points which impact the overall number of team slots awarded to each country for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

\"This will be a fierce competition between the world's top Paralympic cyclists as the race tightens to qualify for the 2012 London Paralympic Games,\" said USOC Chief of Paralympics Charlie Huebner. \"This competition wouldn't be possible without the commitment and support from presenting sponsor Samsung and long-time founding partner The Hartford.\"

\"We are proud to be partnering with the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships,\" said David Steel, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics North America. \"As a Worldwide Paralympic Partner since 2006, Samsung is committed to bringing the inspiration and excitement of Paralympic sport to a wider audience around the world.\"

\"We are proud to be a founding partner of U.S. Paralympics,\" said Ron Gendreau, executive vice president in charge of its group benefits at The Hartford. \"The Paralympians embody the energy, confidence, and optimism at the very heart of achievement. Achieve Without Limits celebrates the human spirit as these athletes continue the journey toward the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Our partnership with U.S. Paralympics clearly demonstrates our commitment to helping individuals and businesses break through limitations to achieve greatness,\" he added.

The U.S. team will feature California natives Matt Bigos (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.), Will Chesebro (Carmel Valley, Calif.), Vincent Juarez (San Jose, Calif.) and Anthony Zahn (Riverside, Calif.). Respective 2011 world championships gold and silver medalists Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Ill.) will compete in the women's division. Tandem duos Clark Rachfal (Annapolis, Md.) and pilot Dave Swanson (Tucson, Ariz.), Army veteran Chester Triplett (Mooresville, N.C.) and pilot Pete Billington (San Rafael, Calif.), and Karissa Whitsell (Eugene, Ore.) and pilot Lisa Turnbull (Springfield, Ore.) will compete in the visually impaired divisions.

U.S. Paralympics and the Velo Sports Center have teamed up to run the competition. The facility, which opened in 2004, has hosted numerous international and elite events, including the 2005 UCI Elite Track Cycling World Championships; the 2012 Para-cycling World Championships is the first-ever international Paralympic event to take place in Carson.

The free event will take place at the newly renamed Velo Sports Center, formerly 'The Home Depot Center Velodrome' in Carson. The event will also offer free parking, and for purchase, food and beverages (offered at the afternoon sessions only). The doors to the public open one hour prior to the start of each of the following sessions:

Thursday, February 9 // Doors open at 11 a.m.
Noon to 6 p.m.

Friday, February 10 // Doors open at 8 a.m.
Morning Session: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Evening Session: 4 to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 11 // Doors open at 8 a.m.
Morning Session: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Evening Session: 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 12 // Doors open at 8 a.m.
Morning Session: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Evening Session: 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The 2012 championship marks the first time since 1998 - and just the second time ever - that the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships will be held in the United States. The 2011 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships was held March 11-13 in Montichiari, Italy, and Team USA finished fifth in the overall medal count with six total medals.

The complete competition schedule can be found at www.paracycling2012.com and event information, including parking and directions to the Velo Sports Center is available at homedepotcenter.com.

Athletes will be available for media interviews following competition. Media can register for credentials online at http://www.paracyclingla2012.com/info.asp?uid=362 .

For more information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics, at (719)866-2039 or beth.bourgeois@usoc.org.

About Samsung Electronics North America

Samsung Electronics North America (NAHQ), based in Ridgefield Park, NJ, is an arm of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The company markets a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics, information systems, and home appliance products, as well as oversees all of Samsung's North American brand management including Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LP, Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc., and Samsung Electronics Mexico, Inc. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, Samsung is one of the most decorated brands in the electronics industry. The company was ranked #17 in BusinessWeek/Interbrand \"100 Best Global Brands,\" and named as one of Fast Company's \"50 Most Innovative Companies of 2011.\" For more information, please visit www.samsung.com. You can also Fan Samsung on www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA or follow Samsung via Twitter @SamsungTweets

About The Hartford

As founding partner of U.S. Paralympics, The Hartford is leading a national campaign to generate widespread support of the U.S. Paralympic Team. The Hartford's Achieve Without Limits campaign provides opportunities for consumers to meet elite U.S. Paralympic athletes, be inspired by their stories, and understand what it means to achieve without limits.

About The Velo Sports Center

The Velo Sports Center, a national training center for USA Cycling, is the first and only permanent indoor track of international standard in North America. The track measures at 250 meters in circumference, 7 meters in width, and inclines at 45 degrees on both ends. With 2,450 seats, the facility is part of The Home Depot Center, a 125-acre multi-sport facility, owned by AEG and operated by AEG Facilities, in Carson, Calif. on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills. In addition to USA Cycling, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have national training centers on the campus, which is also an Official U.S. Olympic Training Site. The venue is home to two professional sports teams; Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy and Chivas USA.

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