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Levi Leipheimer, one of the top professional cyclists in the world, will be the keynote speaker at the 2008 U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony on Nov. 2 in the California city of Davis, known as the bicycle capital of the nation. The event will honor four legendary U.S. cyclists and sports contributors.
Leipheimer recently won a bronze medal in the time trial event at the Olympics in Beijing, his second Olympics appearance, Leipheimer’s medal winning performance was a dream come true after years of hard work and devotion.
“I am honored as an athlete and a cyclist to have been asked to speak at such an important induction event, and the first in the western U.S,” Leipheimer said. “The sport of cycling has provided me with so many great experiences and I am glad to be giving back to those who have been so influential in its growth in the United States.”
The four Hall of Fame honorees are Cheri Elliott of El Dorado Hills, Calif., Off-Road Competitor; Mike Plant of Atlanta as Contributor; Jeanne Golay of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Modern Competitor; and the late Jimmy Walthour, Veteran Competitor in Six-day races.
Special invitation is being made to all prior inductees, and organizers expect this year’s ceremony to be the largest gathering of U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame inductees.
The public is invited to attend the induction ceremony, which will be held on Sunday, Nov. 2, in Freeborn Hall on the campus of the University of California, Davis. The event will include a reception and dinner, Leipheimer’s keynote address and the opportunity to meet the honorees.
Tickets are $115 each or $800 for a table of eight.
The 34-year-old Leipheimer started out in another sport. A competitive Alpine skier from Butte, Mont., he used the bike for cross-training as a student at the University of Utah and made the switch to cycling at age 19.
In 2007, Leipheimer became just the fourth American in history to finish on the podium of the Tour de France, with a third-place finish to teammate Alberto Contador. He has placed in the top 10 of the famed tour four times and is one of only 10 Americans who have won a tour stage.
Leipheimer’s recent victories include: the 2007 U.S. Professional National Road Race; the 2007 & 2008 Tour of California, with wins in the prologue and time trials; and the 2008 Cascade Cycling Classic in Oregon.
Prior to joining the Astana Cycling Team, Levi raced for six other professional squads beginning in 1997. Those teams included the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Teams of the United States, Rabobank of The Netherlands and Gerolsteiner of Germany.
About the Inductees
This year’s Hall of Fame Inductees represent a range of cycling pursuits from bicycle motocross (BMX) to six-day track racing with careers spanning from the 1920s and 30s to the 1990s.
Cheri Elliott raced in BMX and mountain biking events in the 1980s and 1990s. She won four BMX World Championships and won national BMX titles against male competitors. She is considered a legendary BMX pioneer among women BMX racers and has superior bike handling and jumping skills.
Mike Plant contributed to the sport of cycling through his leadership as president of USA Cycling, the national governing body of cycling and as president and founder of Medalist Sports, a sports marketing company that produces national and international cycling competitions. He has served
on the executive committee of the International Cycling Federation (UCI), the United States Olympic Committee board of directors, and he has held numerous other leadership positions in support of cycling.
Jeanne Golay was a five-time world championship medalist and nine-time national champion. She raced successfully as a road, time trial, and track competitor during the 1980s and 1990s. Golay is one of the few American women to win three national championship titles, a feat she completed in 1992 in Altoona, Pa., when she won the road race, time trial, and team time trial events.
Jimmy Walthour, now deceased, was selected to the Hall of Fame in recognition of his amazing track racing career in the 1920s and 1930s. Mr. Walthour raced in the United States, Canada and Europe. As a track racer, he competed in 89 six-day races, earning 14 first-place and 15 second-place finishes. Near the start of his career as a 17-year old racer in 1927, Mr. Walthour won the amateur cycling championship in both the track and road categories.
More about the event
The event is being hosted by the city of Davis, UC Davis, and the California Bicycle Museum. A silent auction to raise money for the Hall of Fame will also be held as part of the evening’s activities.
For more information and updates on the 2008 Induction Dinner and Awards Ceremony, go to http://conferences.ucdavis.edu/bhf.
The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame — part museum, membership organization and advocate for all aspects of cycling — celebrates and preserves cycling’s history, promotes safety and fitness, and encourages participation in all cycling activities.