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MSU unveils new cycling center, offers cycling minor to students

<P>Students at MSU will have an opportunity to train in new cycling research center and earn a minor in cycling.</P>

Anticipation is ramped up as this weekend's Hotter N' Hell Hundred approaches.

This annual event requires months of training and preparation and while thousands of athletes will get ready for the race in different ways, students and cyclists at Midwestern State University will have new tools at their disposal.

Midwestern State University unveiled its new cycling testing and training research center on Thursday.

Professor of Exercise Physiology Frank Wyatt says it will be a place were students and athletes will help improve the sport.

"They are very excited about this whole aspect about being able to utilize this lab to an even greater extent because now we have more equipment so they can do more things within this lab," Wyatt says.

The center was funded by the Hotter N' Hell organization and the university.

Wyatt says the center will also help garner new interests in cycling.

"Not only will it foster the academic side of things but also the cycling team so in terms of recruiting people to come in," Wyatt adds.

Also, the opening of the center will coincide with a new cycling performance minor being offered to help students earn a minor in cycling.

Doctor Ben Velsaquez, chairmen for the Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology department, says students will learn a new side of the sport.

Velasquez says, "They can utilize this minor to learn about increasing performance of cyclists, they can work on conditioning of cyclists and they can use it to promote cycling as a benefit for health.

Charlie Zamastil, 0director of the MSU cycling team, says the new research center will help prepare current and future students for major events like the Hotter N' hell Hundred.

"Not only are the people that are here right now and are going to be here next year going to improve but this is a training facility that's attractive to outside athletes," Zamastil exclaims.

Zamastil says the state-of-art equipment will help the team pedal to the top.

"We've always been considered one of the top teams in the nation... but I want to be the number one powerhouse in the country," Zamastil says. "There is no reason why we can't."

The cycling center is open to community cyclists.

School officials hope others will take advantage of the center to help the prepare for major events like this weekend's Hotter N' Hell Hundred.

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