The Philly Lightning is a dynamic men’s and women’s team of elite road and track cyclists from around the world. Owned by World Cycling Limited, the Lightning will carry the message around the country that there is a new TeamTrak Cycling League of track racing on the horizon and that its global headquarters will be in the Philadelphia area.
The team’s goals are to compete in selected American criteriums and Velodrome events, to prepare for the 2023 launch of TeamTrak’s first season and promote development of the National Sports and Events Center (NSEC), a new multi-sports, cycling and entertainment facility in Coatesville PA outside of Philadelphia. The Lightning will be the home team for the National Velodrome, a world class indoor velodrome within the NSEC and the first such facility in the Eastern U.S. The NSEC is expected to open in 2024.
Led by team founders and co-captains, Stephen Hall and Michael Chauner, the Lightning is recruiting up to ten top elite male and female athletes from the U.S. and abroad for its formation and expansion into 2023.
Stephen Hall, the Thunder from Down Under, is an Australian super star who has won some 200 road and track races throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. Prior to the pandemic he dominated Eastern U.S. criteriums and has been twice Rider of the Year at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center’s world class velodrome in Trexlertown, PA. As captain of the team, Hall is a tough, all round competitor who focuses on one thing: Lightning Victory.
Michael Chauner, a Philadelphia area native, has enjoyed an 22 year career as an all-round track and road talent that includes the Junior national team and pro racing gigs in Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. Chauner and Hall were first teammates in the Lightning’s overall victory at TeamTrak’s pilot event held in 2016 at the VELO Sports. In the upcoming season, Chauner’s one-two punch will be as an aggressive team member and managing partner of the Lightning.
In its first season from June to September, the Philly Lightning will appear at men’s and women’s criterium and track circuit of selected regional and national races that feature big purses and good media visibility. But the Lightning will be more than a top notch racing team. As the first of eight location-based teams to be named by the TeamTrak Cycling League (TTCL), the Lightning will be backed by TTCL’s marketing and media partners and the league’s future sponsors. Lightning team members will appear at charity events, youth development clinics, sponsor outings and at press conferences and VIP events promoting the development of the National Velodrome TTCL’s global headquarters and the Lightning’s future home velodrome. The Lighting will also mentor and help develop Vitesse, an amateur racing team headquartered in the Philadelphia area.
Philadelphia’s tradition of elite international cycling dates back to the wooden velodrome in Willow Grove of the 1890’s and the CoreStates Championship international road race which, as the USPRO National Championship and one of the top pro races in the world, captivated the City from 1985 to 2015.
The passion for cycling has again taken root, this time in the form of the Philly Lightning, a new team of fearless, determined competitors and the drive to build a permanent home for them. In the spirit of Philadelphia’s sports teams…the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, Sixers, Soul, Union and Wings…the Lightning is determined to promote cycling as a hot new spectator sport and highlight its surging popularity for recreation, fitness and competition.
Follow us as we carry forward Philadelphia’s cycling tradition and prepare for our inaugural 2023 season!
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