The Maltese Era
Lou Maltese (b. 1907 d. 1991,) While too young to directly know the original “Boom”, he is the one person who knew everything about the sport from it’s earliest days until Greg Lemond won the Tour.
He first joined CRCA in 1923. He was a great racer, holding National and World records in 25 mile TT’s, century rides and 3 mile races. In 1928 he turned pro, specializing in motopace racing which saw speeds up to 55 mph. After retiring from racing, Lou ran CRCA from the 40’s until 1988.
Along with Al Toefield and Pete Senia, Lou created racing in New York as we know it today. Lou established the CRCA Central Park races, they started the Spring Series, Al worked with David Walker to start the Harlem Crit, they built the Kissena track, they started racing at Bear Mtn.
Sydney Shuster’s “Gotham’s Dynamic Duo” in the July 1986 Bicycle Guide tells their story.
The CRCA began holding a May Memorial Race in 1935. The 1945 race was held over roads on Long Island. In the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s the race was in Central Park. Programs for the race 1979 Ovidio Martinez Memorial , 1984 Harvey C. Black Memorial , 1985 Annual Memorial
, 1986 Fred Hamel and Jack Natirboff Memorial
The 1980 race attracted attention off of the movie “Breaking Away.”